Calvert County Health Department

Local (410) 535-5400, DC Metro (301) 855-1353, Annapolis (410) 269-2216

Personal Health


Health Threats

Health Topics A-Z
Contact Directory
About Our Agency
Links to Organizations
Public Health
Font Size
Print this Page

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.

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.

4. Stop Smoking

Persons who smoke have an increased risk of both high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Register to quit smoking here:

Healthy Hearts Program

The Healthy Heart Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring (BPSM) Program is an evidence-based four-month lifestyle intervention program to help people with hypertension learn how to monitor and control their high blood pressure with the support of peers

To participate:

  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Have been told that they have high blood pressure and/or are on anti-hypertensive medication
  • Have not experienced a recent cardiac event
  • Do not have atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias
  • Do not have or are not at risk for lymphedema
  • Participants in the program must be interested and ready to self-monitor their blood pressure.

Through the program and with the support from a trained Program Facilitators, participants will aim to:

  • Measure and record their blood pressure at home at least two times per month, gaining increased awareness of triggers that impact blood pressure readings. (BP monitor will be provided)
  • Learn how to properly measure their blood pressure
  • Attend two personalized consultations per month with a Program Facilitator
  • Attend monthly Nutrition Education Seminars

> BPSM Program Registration

Contact Info:
410-535-5400, x459

Related Links:       American Heart Association     American Stroke Association         Mayo Clinic

Site Policy | Contact Directory | Privacy Statement
975 Solomons Island Road North, PO Box 980, Prince Frederick, MD 20678 | (410) 535-5400 | Fax: (410) 535-5285
Calvert Crisis Response Hotline 1-877-467-5628
© Calvert County Health Department