A new national campaign encourages high-risk adults to improve their blood pressure so they can keep Aging Well. Get down on the dance floor - to keep your blood pressure from going up.
"High blood pressure silently affects millions of Americans," startst the new public service announcement from the American Heart Association, American Medical Association, and the Ad Council that wants people to dance - for their health!
Dr. Willie Underwood of the American Medical Association says, "Almost half the US has high blood pressure: Over 121 million people, and less than half are under control."
That's why staying active is important. Dr. Willie Lawrence of the American Heart Association continues, "Anything you can do to be active is beneficial. Dancing's one thing. It brings people together. It brings joy to pepole's lives. That alone can help bring your blood pressure down."
The other part of the message asks people to check their own blood pressure at home. Dr. Underwood explains, "In this pandemic, people are afraid to go to the doctor's office. It's particularly important we get an accurate blood pressure that can be communicated to the doctor without necessarily going to the office."
Dr. Lawrence points out, "As you get older, your risk of high blood pressure increases. It's important to think about it in young folks, but also recognize more than 80% of elderly have high blood pressure."
If untreated, high blood pressure can be damaging. "It leads to stroke, and when it impacts the heart, it manifests as a weakening of the heart, coronary disease, kidney disease," details Dr. Underwood.
Health experts are especially concerned about communities with a lot of people of color. Dr. Lawrence explains, "If you have high blood pressure and it's poorly controlled, you're more likely to be hospitalized and die due to COVID. The rates of hospitalization and death are higher for people who are not white - for the population of Hawaii, as well."
That's why medical experts hope to see more people "get down" to keep their high blood pressure down.