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High blood pressure: Controlling the silent killer

More than 80 million Americans are affected by high blood pressure (HBP)— that's 1 in 3 people with the leading factor of stroke and heart disease.

HBP, also referred to as hypertension, is often called a silent killer, since symptoms often sneak up when it's too late. Over time, HBP can cause your arteries to clog and rupture, leading to stroke or heart attack and possibly to life-altering complications or mortality.

However, there is a silver lining to these stark statistics surrounding HBP— the condition is manageable and preventable.

Get connected

To help combat the growing concerns and health issues HBP presents to our community, Shannon has partnered with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Heart360 program to launch Check. Change. Control. It’s a free, convenient tool used to track blood pressure readings.

This online tool is easy to set up and allows you to record your weight, physical activity, blood glucose, cholesterol and medications, in addition to your blood pressure. Heart360 is a secure portal powered by Microsoft HealthVault.

To get started, go to www.heart360.org/shannonhealth and click the "Sign Up and Get Started" button. Once your account is set up, you return to www.heart360.org/shannonhealth to complete your personal profile. The more information you provide, the better information can be tailored to improving your health.

Blood pressure readings can be taken weekly at a time of your choosing, and you can log the results into the online tracking tool. You can set up text message reminders to help you get into the routine. When you reply to the text with your numbers, they will be placed into your profile—conveniently and automatically.

What's best for BP?

An ideal blood pressure reading should consist of a systolic (top) number less than 120 and a diastolic (bottom) number less than 80—that is, 120/80. Prehypertension begins at 120 to 139 systolic and 80 to 89 diastolic; hypertension stage one is 140 to 159 systolic and 90 to 99 diastolic. What you need to remember: Higher numbers equal higher risk.

Get FREE blood pressure checks at Shannon!

  • Urgent Care North
    2626 N. Bryant Blvd.,
    7 a.m.–8 p.m. daily
  • Urgent Care West
    4251 Sunset Drive,
    7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily
  • Urgent Care South
    3501 Knickerbocker Road,
    7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily
  • Shannon Pharmacy
    119 E. Beauregard Ave.,
    Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m.;
    Saturday, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
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