“Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”
—L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Although L. Frank Baum’s famous quote refers to the emotional heart, it also holds true for the physical heart. It’s extremely breakable, in part due to its vulnerability to heart disease.
Taking Heart Health to Heart
February is American Heart Month. May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. With all the media being given to heart disease, public awareness will be high.
This means February through May will be an excellent time for your store to take advantage of the heightened public awareness by stocking healthy-living products as well as blood pressure monitors such as those made by Omron to help your customers stay in tune with their health.
So, what’s the big deal about heart health?
The Numbers Don’t Lie
America’s in big trouble when it comes to heart disease. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are sobering:
- 1 in 4 deaths in the US are due to heart disease—about 610,000 people a year
- It is the leading cause of death for both men and women
- Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually
- Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack
- Of these, 525,000 are first-time heart attacks
- The remainder happen in people who have already had a heart attack
About 47% of Americans have at least one of three risk factors for heart disease:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Surprisingly, high blood pressure isn’t just a problem for adults. Even young people aren’t immune.
High Blood Pressure—the Silent Killer
About one in three adults has high blood pressure.
And one in three adults has prehypertension—blood pressure that’s higher than normal but not yet in the high blood pressure range.
Yet only 54% of people with high blood pressure has the condition under control.
The CDC’s Million Hearts initiative reports that high blood pressure:
- Contributes to about 1,000 deaths a day
- Makes a person 4 times more likely to die from a stroke
- And 3 times more likely to die from heart disease
And unlike many other diseases, high blood pressure often has no warning signs or symptoms, earning its grim nickname—the silent killer. Therefore, regular monitoring is needed to help maintain a healthy heart. And aggressive action taken when blood pressure changes are detected.
Self-Monitoring is Critical
The Million Hearts initiative encourages conversations between health-care givers and patients. It also promotes the usefulness of self-monitoring blood pressure at home with such devices as blood pressure cuffs and wrist bands.
Million Hearts also reports there is strong evidence that shows self-monitoring at home, when combined with additional support such as a feedback loop between patient and provider, is more effective in lowering blood pressure than usual care.
Plus, it warns that patients should only use monitors that have been properly tested and validated for accuracy from at least one of three widely accepted validation protocols—European Society of Hypertension (ESH), Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and British Hypertension Society (BSH).
Omron Blood Pressure Monitors
Omron blood pressure monitors have been validated by all three protocols mentioned above. The Omron brand is also the number one doctor- and pharmacist-recommended brand. And it is the number one selling manufacturer of home blood pressure monitors in the world, providing over 40 years of reliability and accuracy.
Consumer Reports has also weighed in on blood pressure monitors. Several Omron blood pressure monitors were recently featured in Consumer Reports.
Here at Petra, we carry a number of Omron blood pressure monitors that fit either the upper arm or the wrist and automatically take blood pressure readings. We also carry a unit that is completely manual. Petra also supplies Omron blood pressure cuffs, body composition scales and body composition scales and a body fat analyzer, pedometers and TENS units.
Healthy Heart Valentines
Encourage your customers to take heart health seriously. Million Hearts has lots of engaging tools ranging from recipes to infographics for you to use in your own social media campaigns. Don’t forget to put up posters in your store! And prominently display at least one Omron blood pressure monitor. Like true love, healthy hearts should never be taken for granted.