Research Medical Center
March 07, 2011

Gretchen EngelmeyerAs part of a nationwide effort to fight women’s heart disease, Research Medical Center hosted a Go Red for Women event on February 4 in the cafeteria. Information on heart health as well as nearly 120 blood pressure checks were provided.

Suzy Baldwin, RN, cardio/pulmonary department, was one of the staff members checking blood pressures at the Go Red table. “Many people we saw did not realize their blood pressure numbers were too high,” said Baldwin.

According to James Eynon, MD, Midwest Heart Associates, the current recommendation for most people is less than 120/80. Pre-hypertension range is 120-139/80-89. Hypertension is considered to be greater than 140/90.

Baldwin adds, “We recommended the following blood pressure control measures to everyone:

  • Limit salt in diet to 2,000 mg each day, be careful of fast food and eating out in restaurants - salt is often used to enhance the flavor of food
  • Regular aerobic exercise - recommend a minimum of 30 minutes daily. Be sure to get clearance from your physician prior to starting a new exercise program.
  • Maintain normal body weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce caffeine
  • Alcohol consumption only in moderation
  • Take all medications on a regular basis as prescribed.”

Baldwin also recommends stress reduction. “I was surprised by how many people felt their elevated blood pressure that day was related to ‘having a bad day.’ Consider deep breathing exercises and take a 10-minute break away from your work space, make time for yourself and use that PTO time for relaxation time.”

The Center for Integrative Therapy at the Research Brookside Campus offers stress reduction alternatives. Also located on the Research Brookside Campus is the Health & Fitness Center. Employees interested in beginning an exercise program or continuing their current program close to work, can call (816) 276-7500. The Health & Fitness Center is also open to the public.

The renovated clinic space at Midwest Heart Associates includes the cardiac rehabilitation program, Center for Wellness and the hospital’s Center for Cardiac Imaging. The treatment of hypertension is the most common reason for office visits of non-pregnant adults to physicians in the United States and for the use of prescription drugs. Hypertension will likely remain the most common risk factor for heart disease and stroke.