CADIZAs part of its Lunch & Learn workshops, Harrison Community Hospital (HCH) will host a program on high blood pressure.

“Pressure’s On: How to Combat Your Hypertension” will be held at noon on Aug. 2 in the HCH cafeteria. Carol Teter, RN, community nurse educator, will lead the program and share seven steps that can be taken to lower the risk of developing hypertension.

New and lower blood pressure ranges recently were set by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Now, nearly one-half of the U.S. population will find they suffer from hypertension. It is particularly prevalent among people age 65 or older, with a reported 80 percent suffering from high blood pressure.

Like many diseases, hypertension can be a “silent” disease and go unnoticed until organ damage has already occurred.

“Hypertension is essentially a ‘lifestyle’ disease because you control the choices you make,” Teter said. “Do you eat a lot of processed foods loaded with salt and fat? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 89 percent of Americans consume more sodium than they should.”

Other factors that can increase the health risks are smoking, inactivity, being overweight, having diabetes, consuming too much alcohol and having a family history of high blood pressure. In addition to salt, a high-sugar diet also has been implicated.

“Come learn how to lower your high blood pressure to help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, memory loss, damaged vision – which can lead to blindness – heart failure and hardening of the arteries,” Teter said.

Lunch & Learn workshops are held at HCH the first Thursday of each month. No reservations are necessary. HCH is a division of Wheeling Hospital.