Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, and many don’t even know they have it. When left untreated, the damage that high blood pressure does to the circulatory system is a significant contributing factor to heart attack, stroke and other health threats.
The first step to controlling blood pressure is knowing what the numbers are, and that requires getting an accurate blood pressure reading. In Colorado, the American Heart Association is working hard to provide educational resources on hypertension and offering tangible solutions to help the community track and monitor their blood pressure.
The American Heart Association Denver division is proud to work with HealthONE, the local Together to End Stroke sponsor, on a self-measured blood pressure initiative with STRIDE Community Health Center.
STRIDE Community Health Center is a nonprofit federally qualified health center with over a 30-year history of providing primary care for residents in five counties in the Denver metro area. STRIDE focuses on making health services accessible and affordable for low-income, underserved, and uninsured communities. Currently, STRIDE has 7,987 patients that have been diagnosed as hypertensive with 2,689 patients that have uncontrolled blood pressure.
The self-measured blood pressure initiative will provide STRIDE with kits that will be distributed to the clinic’s uncontrolled hypertensive patients with the goal of helping them manage their blood pressure. The kits include validated blood pressure monitors, pill box organizers, water bottles, cookbooks, and information on controlling blood pressure through healthy eating habits and regular physical activity.
The American Heart Association and HealthONE have a goal of helping STRIDE reach a blood pressure control rate of 70%, amongst their patient population. As a clinic, STRIDE’s control rate for hypertensive patients is 66.4%.
STRIDE has already started enrolling patients with a diagnosis of hypertension into the program, and patients will be given additional support from staff, will return for follow-up visits, and blood pressure data will be entered into their electronic management record.