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Heart Health

Millions of Americans live with heart disease. In fact, every year 1 in 4 deaths are caused by this disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented or controlled.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading and treatable cause of heart disease and stroke. African Americans living in the United States are more likely to develop high blood pressure and to develop it earlier in life. In Calvert County, the rate of high blood pressure-related hospital admissions were 3.5 times higher for African Americans than for whites.

There are steps you can take to control your high blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.

1. Know Your Numbers


Systolic (top number) Diastolic (bottom number)


Below 120 Below 80


120-139 80-89


140 or higher 90 or higher


Blood pressure is measured using 2 numbers.

  • The first number, called systolic blood pressure, represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats.
  • The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats.

It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. There are a number of resources in Calvert County to have your blood pressure checked, see Office on Aging Heart 360 flyer and Calvert Memorial Hospital Community Wellness

2. Make Lifestyle Changes

Heart-Healthy Diet:

  • Limit your salt (sodium intake). Common sources of salt in your diet may surprise you.  Take a look at the American Heart Association “The Salty Six” to see where salt may be hiding in your food.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Choose lean meats and fish

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Get Moving:

3. Control Diabetes

Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes. It is important to manage the diabetes to improve your overall health and reduce your risk for heart disease.

Additional Information:
Understanding Your Blood Pressure (Power Point Presentation)

Food Portions (Power Point Presentation)

Contact Info:

Related Links:       American Heart Association     American Stroke Association         Mayo Clinic

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