Today is the start of American Heart Month. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designated February as a nation-wide awareness for one of the leading causes of death in the US every year: Heart Disease. This year, the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention is focusing on hypertension (high blood pressure) as it is the leading risk factor. Another focal point this year is addressing barriers to health equity in communities disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease.
According to the CDC, 47% of Americans either have hypertension or are taking medication for it. While this is a busy time of year across the board in health care, it is extremely important to take the time to discuss not only the risk factors, but the medications that can help manage their levels. It is also important to discuss the benefits, side effects and other lifestyle changes that can affect blood pressure as well. Visit the CDC website for their toolkit of resources on educating your patients on American Heart Month.