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Health Department wants to educate public

PARK HILLS – The St. Francois County Health Center is reminding area residents that the month of May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Throughout May the health center is offering free blood pressure checks to anyone wanting their blood pressure checked.

“We are encouraging anyone who wants to get their blood pressure checked to come in,” St. Francois County Health Center Director Diane Eaton said. “High blood pressure can sneak up on you and cause heart disease and strokes. A large percentage of our county has cardiovascular disease. We want to make sure our residents get checked.”

The health center offers blood pressure checks at no cost 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, over two-thirds of the nation’s population over age 65 have high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure can rise and fall throughout the day, but when it stays elevated over an extended period of time, it is considered to be high.

High blood pressure is usually associated with a level that is 140/90.

High blood pressure can be prevented or controlled by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, following a healthy eating plan, reducing sodium in diet, drinking alcohol in moderation only, taking prescribed medications as directed, not using tobacco and managing stress.

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