Monitor blood pressure to keep heart healthy

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Heart monitor: Sarah Kennedy (right), a pharmacist at Fagen Pharmacy in Valparaiso, prepares for Heart Health Month in February by checking the blood pressure of a staff member. Monitoring blood pressure is recommended to help avoid heart problems. | Supplied photo

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What comes to mind when you think of February? I bet it’s somewhere between “I wish it would stop snowing

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Doctors save woman after pulmonary embolism

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and be spring already” and “I better not forget to get my sweetie something for Valentine’s Day.”

Regardless, when you think February, do not forget to also be thinking of a blissful month dedicated to keeping your heart healthy.

Heart disease is a major issue in the United States. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 2,150 American lives are taken each day by cardiovascular disease, which is an alarming one death every 40 seconds.

AHA also estimates 32 million adults have high cholesterol and 78 million adults have high blood pressure. Of adults with high blood pressure, 82 percent are aware of their condition and 75 percent are using medications to treat high blood pressure, but only 53 percent have the condition controlled. Optimal blood pressure is a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80, or as it reads, 120/80.

Master monitoring

Home monitoring is important for the overall control of your blood pressure. In order to monitor at home, you should know a few things about achieving accurate results. First, make sure you are in a calm state and not affected by caffeine, alcohol, exercise, or smoking. Second, you should be sitting with both feet flat on the floor with your arm supported at heart level. Third, your blood pressure cuff should fit your arm comfortably. Last, high readings should be double checked by taking another reading five minutes later.

Since February is American Heart Month, Fagen Pharmacy at 3125 N. Calumet Ave. in Valparaiso will be offering a variety of services to help people live a healthier life and have a happier heart. Anyone may stop by Fagen during the month of February to receive a free blood pressure screening and information regarding heart health. Fagen Pharmacy will also have cholesterol screenings, weight loss programs, and diabetes education available. If you are interested, please contact Lynn Fletcher, PharmD, at (219) 462-4381, Ext. 12017, or email her at lynn.fletcher@fagenpharmacy.com.

It is time to take charge of your life and make your heart and yourself healthier. Are you ready? We are at Fagen Pharmacy.

Provided by Fagen Pharmacy