BANNOCKBURN, Ill., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- As February marks American Heart Month, it's important to create awareness about simple steps that can help prevent the nation's number one killer, cardiovascular disease. One of the easiest ways to monitor one's heart health is through in-home blood pressure monitoring. What many don't realize is that blood pressure monitoring is essential to a healthy regimen, as high blood pressure affects nearly one in three adults in the U.S., or more than 73 million people(1).
"For many, high blood pressure is manageable, but if not detected early and monitored closely, it can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease and stroke," says Dr. Annabelle Volgman, cardiologist, Rush University Medical Center. "Research shows home blood pressure monitoring can be vital to reducing risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure."
Why At-Home Blood Pressure Monitoring?
Monitoring blood pressure regularly can help you be more aware of your overall health. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends home monitoring for all people with high blood pressure(2). With an in-home monitor, you can take blood pressure readings daily, all from the comfort of your own home.
High blood pressure is often called "the silent killer" because of its lack of symptoms, but with an accurate home blood pressure monitor, you can get an early detection on your numbers. Omron Healthcare blood pressure monitors have been clinically tested, evaluated and proven to meet the rigorous safety and accuracy standards set by independent organizations. Available at major pharmacy stores and online retailers nationwide, Omron offers a full line of upper arm and wrist blood pressure monitors with a variety of features to meet the needs of many consumers.
In addition to monitoring, be conscious of your overall health to help keep your heart in check. Unhealthy habits, including high salt intake, too much alcohol, and smoking, can increase anyone's risk of high blood pressure. Studies show patients with high blood pressure and low vitamin D levels have almost double the risk of heart attack and stroke, making it vital to check with a physician to determine if they are at risk.
Also, like any other muscle, your heart needs to be exercised. To keep your heart healthy, it is recommended you get slightly breathless from exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day(3). With the average heart beating 70 times per minute, being aware of your blood pressure reading is important in ensuring your heart stays healthy.
Are You The ONE?
It is important for everyone to be aware of his or her blood pressure, but certain groups are at higher risk and should take special precautions. Studies show that nearly half of all African-American adults are affected by high blood pressure; one in 12 teenagers suffer from high blood pressure(4); and hypertension is two times as prevalent in obese adults(5).
While optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg, look out for number one and 135/85 mmHg, which is the upper limit of normal for home readings. "The sooner you get your blood pressure under control the better your chances are of not increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Many times, lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and exercise can help better manage your blood pressure," adds Volgman.
If you want to get a jump-start on your at-home monitoring, be sure to follow @OmronHomeBP on Twitter for a chance to win an Omron blood pressure monitor during American Heart Month. Starting Feb. 1, 2010, one Omron blood pressure monitor will be given away to a follower each day through the end of the month. Check out the official rules for details on how to participate at www.omronhomebp.com on Feb. 1 and get tips on how to monitor your blood pressure at home.
About Omron Healthcare, Inc.
Omron Healthcare, Inc., located in Bannockburn, IL, is the North and South American sales and marketing office of Omron Healthcare Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of blood pressure monitors for home use. With more than 100 million monitors sold worldwide to date, Omron Healthcare Group was the first to introduce manual and digital blood pressure monitors into the home healthcare market. Omron Healthcare offers innovative products and medical devices for use in sites ranging from hospitals to the home in the blood pressure monitoring, fitness diagnostics, thermometry, and respiratory categories. Omron Healthcare markets clinically proven products that provide accurate health information to consumers and physicians and support positive lifestyle changes and health improvement. For more information, visit www.omronhealthcare.com.
(1) Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2009 Update, American Heart Association
(4) AJH 2004; 17:366-369
(5) Office of the Surgeon General, US Department of Health & Human Services, http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_consequences.html
SOURCE Omron Healthcare, Inc.