Women Challenged to “Go For BP Goal” to Control High Blood Pressure

Renowned nutritionist and lifestyle coach Dr. Ro Brock and cardiologist and hypertension expert Dr. Wallace Johnson challenged some 1,000 Savannah-area African American women to learn more about high blood pressure, including their own pressure, and work to better control a factor that can lead to life-threatening conditions. Doctors Brock and Johnson conducted an educational seminar on high blood pressure at the BET Foundation’s Women’s Health Symposium at Savannah State’s Tiger Arena on Saturday.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major health problem in America, especially among African Americans. Forty percent of African- Americans in the U.S. have high blood pressure, and the condition occurs more often, at a younger age, with greater severity and with more frequent complications in African Americans compared with Whites. More than one quarter of women in the U.S. have high blood pressure.

Dr. Brock and Dr. Johnson were at the BET Foundation’s Women’s Health Symposium as part of the “Go for BP Goal” public awareness program that is seeking to reach people in their hometowns nationwide to help educate them about the threat of uncontrolled blood pressure, while also seeking to motivate them to work with their healthcare provider to set and maintain a healthier blood pressure goal.

During the educational seminar, Dr. Johnson explained the importance of checking blood pressure regularly, the challenges African Americans face in controlling blood pressure and the serious health implications of hyopertension. Blood pressure that is not controlled can lead to a heart attack, stroke or damage other organs such as the kidneys. The longer it is left uncontrolled, the more serious the complications can become.

Attendees received free blood pressure screenings and real life advice from Dr. Brock on how to make positive lifestyle changes to help control blood pressure, like preparing healthier recipes without sacrificing flavor, and incorporating exercise into daily routines.

But lifestyle changes alone may not be enough. Dr. Johnson said that most people will require medication to help get their blood pressure under control, and the vast majority will need more than one medication. Nearly half of the African Americans taking medication for high blood pressure do not have it within healthy ranges, and are candidates for new treatment options that combine two widelyprescribed medications into one pill.

For those who could not attend the BET Foundation’s Women’s Health Symposium , the blood pressure information provided during the seminar is available, along with other tips to lead a healthier lifestyle and “Go for Your BP Goal” on the Web at: www.goforbpgoal.com.

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