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Understanding High Blood Pressure and Strategies of Prevention and Control

Many of our clients at Home Helpers have been diagnosed with hypertension, or high blood pressure (HBP). In fact, as many as 30 percent of adults in Illinois have received the same diagnosis ranking our state as 10th in the nation for the lowest percentage of cases, according to America’s Health Rankings published by United Health Foundation.

Across America, high blood pressure impacts 32.4 percent of the population, which may be a little low considering HBP typically has no signs or symptoms, and aging adults may not realize they have it.

Because seniors aged 65+ have a higher prevalence of HPB, I have chosen to gain a broader understanding of high blood pressure and strategies for prevention and control before American Heart Month concludes.

American Health Rankings explains, “High blood pressure (or hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are the leading and fifth-leading causes of death in the United States, respectively. In 2021, almost 700,000 deaths in the U.S. were caused by complications of hypertension.”

The following are specific risk factors for HBP:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor diet (eating foods that are high in sodium and low in potassium)
  • Excessive alcohol use

Data collected by American Health Rankings showed a greater prevalence of HBP among:

  • Men compared with women
  • Adults with less than a college degree, and college graduates have the lowest prevalence of HBP
  • Adults ages 65 and older compared to younger adults
  • Adults with an annual household income less than $25,000 compared to those with higher levels of income
  • Adults living in non-metropolitan areas compared with adults living in metro areas
  • Black adults compared with white and Asian adults “Research suggests that racial and ethnic disparities in blood pressure prevalence is likely due to stress caused by social and economic factors, such as racism, rather than biological differences. Additionally, black adults are more likely to develop HBP at a younger age than white adults.”

Effective prevention and control strategies focused on lifestyle changes can help prevent or manage high blood pressure:

  • Reduce dietary sodium intake
  • Increase physical activity
  • Quit smoking
  • Take blood pressure medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider
  • Get screened every two years or as suggested by your doctor
  • Self-measured your blood pressure monitoring for convenient and accessible blood pressure control

Healthy People 2030 is a federal program with multiple cardiovascular health objectives including reducing the proportion of adults with HBP and increasing control of HBP in adults.

“Healthy People 2030 focuses on preventing and treating heart disease and stroke and improving overall cardiovascular health. Heart disease and stroke can result in poor quality of life, disability, and death. Though both diseases are common, they can often be prevented by controlling risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol through treatment,” says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

If you or someone you know has high blood pressure, heart disease, or is recovering from a heart attack or cardiovascular surgery, Home Helpers® Kankakee can provide assistance and support to help make life easier.

Our team of compassionate caregivers is highly trained and skilled to help with companion care, personal care, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, recuperative care, 24-hour shift care, and a wide array of in-home care services. I am happy to offer a FREE Assessment to discuss specific needs and create a personalized care plan reflecting the many ways we can help.

Home Helpers® Bourbonnais/Kankakee/Frankfort proudly serves male and female seniors, Veterans, and the differently abled in Beecher, Bourbonnais, Bradley, Dwight, Frankfort, Kankakee, Manteno, Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Park, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Tinley Park, Watseka, Wilmington, and surrounding areas. Contact me today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers® - We are Making Life Easier℠ for you and yours! 815.427.4238


American Health Rankings

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services