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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is The Silent Killer.

There are no outward or inward signs that someone has hypertension. Yet high blood pressure affects nearly every organ.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, vision loss and aortic dissection, a life-threatening tear in the major artery carrying blood from the heart to the body.

I believe blood pressure should be checked at every medical visit. It’s important to know your numbers so you can treat hypertension before it damages your health. Here are three things to remember:

  • Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80.
  • A blood pressure reading of greater than 130/80 is high blood pressure.
  • Any reading above normal should be discussed with your health care provider.

Unfortunately, African-Americans tend to develop hypertension at an earlier age, and they also tend to have more severe high blood pressure.

That is why it is important to break the silence about this killer disease and spread the word about the importance of blood pressure screenings, especially in the African-American community.

Blood Pressure Ambassadors

Because people need to know their blood pressure reading — and don’t always regularly see a doctor — we developed the ChristianaCare Blood Pressure Ambassadors program. The ambassadors take blood pressure screenings directly to the community, helping people become aware of their blood pressure and its effect on their health, especially African-Americans. ChristianaCare Blood Pressure Ambassadors are volunteers who get the message to people where they are — churches and places of worship, sporting events, social organizations, charitable events, shopping centers and community events. Some Ambassadors even organize their own screenings. The return on their investment can be extremely high. If one screening prevents a stroke, heart attack or tear in the aorta, the impact on that family and for the community is tremendous. That is why we need to recruit even more Ambassadors.

Please make it a point to visit your doctor, or attend one of the Blood Pressure Ambassador events to get a blood pressure reading. Watch our events calendar for upcoming events, or visit the blood pressure ambassador webpage for our regularly scheduled screenings. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can become a Blood Pressure Ambassador, call us at 302-320-6800.

Knowing your blood pressure is an important step in treating high blood pressure and its potential effects on your health.