(Active Members and Non-Medicare Retirees)

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known as the “Silent Killer” because it causes or contributes to about 1,000 deaths each day in the U.S. – yet its symptoms are often unnoticed. About 1 in 3 adults has hypertension, which is diagnosed when your blood pressure is 140/90 or greater. However, only about half have it under control. Uncontrolled hypertension leads to life-altering complications such as stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease that may leave you unable to work or enjoy life as you know it.

Think you are too young to have a stroke? Think again! New research tells us that many more adults aged 35 to 44 years old are having strokes than they were in 2003. Stop the silence! Remember:
   
  • Check your blood pressure
  • Follow a heart healthy diet, high in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol use to one drink per day
  • Manage stress

If you have high blood pressure, take medication as prescribed and keep your cholesterol levels down.  Not so sure you can put these steps into action? Watch Gail’s Story and be inspired to make the effort and, quite possibly, save your life.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s high blood pressure information page. State Health Plan members may also log in to their Personal Health Portal or call an NC HealthSmart health coach at 800-817-7044 for details on how to put these simple steps into action.