Congratulations! If you are reading this most informative article, you’ve made another successful “trip around the sun”! Another spring, another May Day, another National High Blood Pressure Month, celebrated each May. Here’s to all of you in good health and all who are working toward that goal!

According to Amy Campbell, a registered dietician and prolific author, “One in three American adults has high blood pressure and many don’t know they have it.” High blood pressure is called “the silent killer” because there are often no symptoms.

A blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 (120/80) is considered a target, normal or average blood pressure. The top number is the systolic pressure; the pressure in the arteries as the heart beats or contracts. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure; the pressure in the arteries between the beats of your heart, when your heart is at rest.

When these numbers become elevated, your heart is required to work harder, against the higher pressure, to circulate your blood throughout your body.

If blood pressure remains high over a significant period of time, your chances of having a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease or other life-threatening illness is increased. As you get older, the possibility of developing high blood pressure increases. If you are over weight or have diabetes the odds of developing high blood pressure is even higher.

Although these facts about high blood pressure are very concerning, there are many things that can be done to prevent and control high blood pressure. High blood pressure is NOT “Mission Impossible.”
Coming soon: Your Blood Pressure – “Mission Possible”.

Blood pressure clinics are held at the Red Willow County Health Department, located in the Ag Complex at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds at 1400 West 5th Street each Thursday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:#0pm as well as each 2nd Thursday of the month at Highland Park from 9:00-10:00am and at the McCook Senior Center from 10:30 to 11:30am. This service is provided free of charge.