WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Blood Pressure Screenings Focus Of Virginia Initiative

Play associated audio
A simple blood pressure test can help screen for a variety of cardiovascular conditions.
A simple blood pressure test can help screen for a variety of cardiovascular conditions.

Virginia has joined a national initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes, as health care providers statewide are also participating in the "Million Hearts" challenge.

High blood pressure rates in Virginia have been on the rise, with 1 in 4 adults having high blood pressure in 2009. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death among Virginians, with strokes ranked as the third leading cause. State Health Commissioner and Doctor Karen Remley says there's a connection there.

"We know that hypertension causes pressure. If you think about it, it's just pressure beating on your vessels whether your vessels are in your brain or your vessels are in your heart, every single day," says Remley. "And over time, that increased pressure of having high blood pressure causes damage to both your heart and to your brain. So we want to make sure people know what their numbers are and take the appropriate medication to lower them."

As part of the Million Hearts Challenge, organizations around the Commonwealth are encouraged to meet the goal of taking 1,000,000 blood pressures during the month of May.

Remley says blood pressure can be checked free of charge at most pharmacies: "Ask the pharmacist. They're very smart health professionals that can tell you whether that's something that you need — to go see your doctor about to have more work done on it, or whether you just need to have it checked again."

She adds that the focus is on blood pressure control, and not screening alone, so consumers need to follow up if indicated. Lifestyle changes may also include more exercise, vegetables, and fruit, and quitting smoking.

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.


New York City To Require Sodium Warnings On Restaurant Menus

New York City has implemented a new rule requiring chain restaurants to put sodium warnings on their menus. Menu items that contain lots of salt will be marked with an icon of a salt shaker.
WAMU 88.5

Chicago Police Chief Firing And Efforts To Boost Public Trust Of Police Nationwide

Chicago's mayor fires the city's police chief amid protests over the response to the police killing of a black teenager. An update on efforts to boost public trust in police forces across the country.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.