The Three C’s of HBP
The idea is that healthier blood pressure sometimes takes a community.
Controlling HBP is notoriously difficult, so to address it, the American Heart Association has created the program:One in three American adults has high blood pressure. That’s about 80 million people, so odds are that you or someone you know has it. Its consequences can lead to heart and kidney failure. It can only be reliably diagnosed by a healthcare professional using a blood pressure monitor. Once diagnosed, it can’t be cured, but it can be controlled. That control requires attention every day. One more thing: it is rampant among African-Americans.
Check. Change. Control. The idea is that "healthier blood pressure sometimes takes a community." The CCC program uses health mentors to help people with high blood pressure do what they need to do to control it – eat right, be active, visit their doctor, take their medication. The mentors are local volunteers who are trained to encourage participants to monitor their blood pressure and stay consistent with their plan for controlling it.
The program also uses Heart360, a web-based tool to help track blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, physical activity and medication. The program also makes suggestions about action plans and helps participants connect with healthcare providers and mentors to share progress. Heart360 allows you to pull together all the information needed for you and your doctor to actively work together to get your BP to goal and keep it there.
Don’t know your blood pressure? You can get it checked for free in many pharmacies, healthcare facilities and fire stations. And once is not enough because BP increases with age. If your blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg, the American Heart Association recommends getting your blood pressure checked by a doctor at least once every two years starting at age 20. If it’s higher, it needs to be checked more often.
The Check. Change. Control. program is available in 60 areas, including Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia.
If your community does not have Check. Change. Control. yet, don’t let that stop you from discovering and monitoring your BP numbers. You can get your numbers at no cost at many places in your community, and you can enroll yourself in Heart360.
Your BP is serious business, so get serious about it.