February is American Heart Month. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 85 million adults (greater than 1 in 3) have cardiovascular disease; more than 43 million adults age 60 and older are impacted. Additionally, about two-thirds of cardiovascular disease-related deaths occur in people age 75 and older.
With support from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), organizations across the country are offering proven programs to help people better manage chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Since 2010, more than 340,000 individuals have participated in chronic disease self-management education (CDSME) and self-management support programs. More than 60% of participants indicate having multiple chronic health conditions, including nearly 42% with hypertension and approximately 15% with heart disease.
Additionally, ACL grantee MAC Inc. in Maryland uses a module called Living Well with Hypertension as an introductory session to their CDSME workshops. The interactive session helps individuals learn how to better manage their hypertension, with topics that include: What is High Blood Pressure, Problems with Salt/Sodium Intake, Home Monitoring Tips, Where’s the Salt, and Knowing Your Numbers. Many sites also provide free blood pressure screening. During the past year, 485 people attended Living Well with Hypertension in 16 Maryland counties as well as in Washington D.C.