About half of adults in the United States have hypertension, or high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other health issues. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, Latino adults have higher rates of hypertension and lower rates of hypertension awareness and control rates compared with white adults.
To combat high rates of high blood pressure and better manage hypertension, the American Heart Association (AHA) has placed blood pressure kiosks in vulnerable Los Angeles area communities, according to an AHA news release. The Southland and Carson communities each have one; two more are to be installed in Fullerton and another location in LA. The kiosks are equipped with easy to use blood pressure monitors and screens that will guide users with high readings on next steps to take to control their pressure.
“Knowing your numbers is key to understanding and addressing risk,” said Kathryn Shirley, a board member for AHA Greater Los Angeles, in the news release. “By placing blood pressure kiosks in historically under-resourced communities, we hope to reduce health barriers and encourage regular blood pressure checks, better hypertension management and healthy habits.”
Black and Latino communities experience systemic barriers to care, such as racism and lack of access to health insurance. The AHA and Providence, a nonprofit network of hospitals and health care professionals in Southern California, aims to address the disproportionate burden of hypertension by expanding access to care and knowledge about hypertension within these communities.
“Providence firmly believes health is a human right, and to ensure that right we must address challenges in accessing care,” Denise Colomé, director of health equity for Providence in California, told the AHA.
Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any of the condition’s hallmark symptoms, such as sweating or headaches. But even people who feel fine, may be at risk.
Fortunately, high blood pressure is treatable and preventable. To lower your risk, get your blood pressure checked regularly and take action to control your blood pressure if it is too high.
To learn more, click #Hypertension. There, you’ll find headlines such as “Hypertension Linked to Faster Decrease in Brain Function,” “Diet May Impact Pregnancy Complications Among Latinas” and “Cardiovascular Disease Is Primed to Kill More Older Adults, Especially Blacks and Hispanics.”