The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that one of three American
adults has high blood pressure, also called hypertension. That's 67 million
people who have to work to keep their blood pressure in check each day.
Unfortunately, more that half of people with high blood pressure do not have
their condition under control.
RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall, Health Department Director of Public Information
notes, "Many may be surprised if your healthcare professional says you have
high blood pressure, because it produces no obvious symptoms and can occur
in an otherwise healthy person. Although we do not yet know how to prevent
high blood pressure, there are simple ways to control the condition by
bringing blood pressure readings down to safe levels."
First off, what is high blood pressure actually? Well, as blood flows
from the heart of to the blood vessels, it creates pressure against the
blood vessel walls. Your blood pressure reading is a way of measuring this
pressure and it tells you if the pressure is normal, high, or low. Another
name for high blood pressure is hypertension.
Blood pressure readings are given in two numbers, such as 120/80.
Although the average blood pressure reading for adults is 120/80, a slightly
higher or lower reading (for either number) is not necessarily abnormal or
The blood pressure test is painless and takes only a few minutes. The
health professional should take several readings on different days before
deciding if your blood pressure is too high. All of these steps are
necessary because blood pressure changes so quickly and is affected by many
The good news about high blood pressure is that for most people it can
be controlled by drugs and sometimes by changes in daily habits. The type
and severity of a patient's high blood pressure, as well as his or her other
medical problems, will determine which drug, or combination of drugs, is
High blood pressure can lead to many serious conditions in older people,
including stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure. You can reduce your
risk of developing these problems by getting proper treatment if a blood
pressure test shows that you have high blood pressure.
The Health Department reminds area residents that free blood pressure
screenings can be obtained at either of their office locations: Main Office,
Rt. 78 South, Kewanee Monday through Friday during office hours 8:00am -
4:00pm and our Colona Office,103 1st St., Colona on Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Fridays during office hours 8:00am-4:00pm.
For more information, call the Health Department at 852-5272 (Main),
792-4011 (Colona), or 852-3115 (Stark). You can also visit our website at
www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County