Through my job with the American Heart Association, I meet new survivors of heart disease and stroke each week. They all have their own stories of heartbreak, overcoming the odds and making lifestyle changes.
One of the things that continues to shock me the most are the number of those who appear seemingly healthy but have survived life-changing heart events. They eat a healthy diet, are young, active and often times, they are women. Did you know 1 in 3 women DIE of heart disease? ONE IN THREE makes heart disease the leading cause of death among Americans, killing more than all forms of cancer COMBINED. Learn more.
Eighty percent of heart disease is preventable. One of the things we can all do is track our blood pressure. I recently had a friend, Kelly, who went in for her annual health check-up and discovered she had high blood pressure. She gave me permission to share her story with you.
Kelly took all the right steps. She monitored her BP for several days, reduced her sodium intake, listened to her doctor when she was directed not to run or do strenuous activity and she started taking BP medication as directed. Kelly is a young, healthy, heart advocate. Heart disease is also a part of her family history, as she lost her dad at a young age from a sudden heart attack.
Why is high blood pressure so serious? Uncontrolled high BP leads to plaque build up and can lead to heart attack, heart failure or stroke. High BP isn’t something to mess around with.
High BP runs in my own family and since I’ve started working for the American Heart Association, I’ve become slightly obsessed with checking my BP.
Do you know your blood pressure? If you don’t, invest in a blood pressure cuff, go to your local Walgreens, or to your doctor’s office. Then, track your blood pressure here.