National High Blood Pressure Education Month

May begins the launching of new National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBPEP) activities for the year. The NHBPEP continues campaign efforts to promote better blood pressure control. The NHBPEP will strive to increase awareness of the need to control systolic blood pressure and the importance of lifestyle modification for prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.

Fifty million Americans have high blood pressure, and less than 30 percent are controlling their condition. Lowering blood pressure, especially in older people, dramatically reduces strokes, coronary events, heart failure, progression of renal disease, and all-cause mortality. Despite the health benefits of controlling blood pressure, hypertension control rates--especially control of systolic blood pressure--are worse among older Americans.

Lifestyle modification can be an effective part of a blood pressure-lowering program. A recent study, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Sodium, provided exciting evidence on the ability to lower blood pressure by following an eating pattern low in salt and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Participants following the DASH diet who consumed the lowest amount of salt had the greatest reductions in blood pressure. You will find a description of the DASH diet and menus to support it as part of the NHBPEP Community Kit. You may find other items that suit your needs, so please take a look at all of them. To see the full kit content, please follow this link.

All organizations and groups interested in promoting public awareness about the need to improve high blood pressure control rates are invited to plan activities in support of National High Blood Pressure Education Month. The NHBPEP Community Kit provides planning tools and resources for community programs. It can help mobilize communities to develop high blood pressure education activities.

Visit other sections of the Web site and select from a variety of health education materials. Point your browser to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Online Catalog for a list of available materials. These files are not copyrighted and may be adapted, photocopied, or otherwise reproduced without permission. If you do reprint NHLBI materials, please cite NHLBI as the source.



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