Calvert County Health Department
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|
|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
- 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
- For additional resources, visit American Heart Association Weight Management
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week
- For walking paths in Calvert County, see Walking Your Way to a Healthy Life flyer
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.
For more information on workshops available to assist in managing diabetes, see Living Well with Diabetes.
Understanding Your Blood Pressure (Power Point Presentation)
Food Portions (Power Point Presentation)