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Tag Archive | "American Heart Association"

Six things that raise your blood pressure


Read about things that raise your blood pressure at www.heart.org/ bpraisers.

Read about things that raise your blood pressure at www.heart.org/bpraisers.

(NAPS)—Keeping blood pressure under control can mean adding things to your life, such as exercise, that help lower it. But you may not realize that it also means avoiding things that raise it.

If you or someone you care about is among the one in three U.S. adults—about 80 million people—with high blood pressure, you need to be aware of these six things that can raise blood pressure and thwart your efforts to keep it in a healthy range.

1. Salt. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends people aim to eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. That level is associated with lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Because the average American’s sodium intake is so excessive, even cutting back to no more than 2,400 mg a day can improve blood pressure and heart health.

2. Decongestants. People with high blood pressure should be aware that the use of decongestants may raise blood pressure. Many over-the-counter (OTC) cold and flu preparations contain decongestants. Always read the labels on all OTC medications. Look for warnings to those with high blood pressure and to those who take blood pressure medications.

3. Alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. Your doctor may advise you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. If cutting back on alcohol is hard for you to do on your own, ask your health care provider about getting help. The AHA recommends that if you drink, limit it to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women.

4. Hot Tubs & Saunas. People with high blood pressure should not move back and forth between cold water and hot tubs or saunas. This could cause an increase in blood pressure.

5. Weight Gain. Maintaining a healthy weight has many health benefits. People who are slowly gaining weight can either gradually increase the level of physical activity (toward the equivalent of 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity) or reduce caloric intake, or both, until their weight is stable. If you are overweight, losing as little as five to 10 pounds may help lower your blood pressure.

6. Sitting. New research shows that just a few minutes of light activity for people who sit most of the day can lower blood pressure in those with type 2 diabetes. Taking three-minute walk breaks during an eight-hour day was linked to a 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure management, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org/hbp. Bayer’s Consumer Health Division, maker of Coricidin® HBP, is a sponsor of the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure website.

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Heart Month


 

The number one killer can strike anyone of any age

By Mary Kuhlman, Michigan News Connection

February is American Heart Month. Many women will wear red to work on Friday, February 5, to call attention to women’s risk of heart disease and stroke.

February is American Heart Month. Many women will wear red to work on Friday, February 5, to call attention to women’s risk of heart disease and stroke.

Michiganders are reminded to keep hearts on their minds as February begins, and not just the Valentine kind. It’s American Heart Month, an annual observance to bring awareness to cardiovascular disease, the nation’s number one killer.

Anna Pitt of Hemlock says she’s lucky to be alive after suffering what’s known as a “widow maker” heart attack, which comes on suddenly. She was getting her son on the school bus when she collapsed.

“They told me at that time I had no pulse,” says Pitt. “They used the defibrillator on me in the driveway, and also three times on the way to the hospital. Now, they said if my son hadn’t done CPR I wouldn’t be here.”

Pitt explains that she had had no symptoms, and with good cholesterol and blood pressure would have never imagined she would be the victim of a heart attack. And because it can save a life, her advice for Michiganders during American Heart Month is to get certified in CPR.

According to the American Heart Association, one-in-three women will die of heart disease, about 46 women in Michigan each day.

Stacy Sawyer, senior director of communications with the American Heart Association in Michigan, says while family history can play a large role in a person’s chance of developing heart disease, there are other risk factors that can be controlled such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity and smoking. But she adds heart disease can affect anyone of any age.

“Even newborns who are born with congenital heart defects to the elderly,” says Sawyer. “We have survivors who are just in their 20s. So heart disease is something that everyone of every age needs to be aware of and be proactive against it.”

Sawyer recommends everyone knows their numbers, their weight, cholesterol and blood pressure, and speak to their doctor about ways to reduce their risk of heart disease.

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Don’t wait for professionals to help a cardiac victim


HEA-Cardiac-victim

By Mary Kuhlman, Michigan News Connection

Help from a bystander is often the difference between whether a person suffering from cardiac arrest will live or die.

Kelli Sears with the American Heart Association (AHA) says while there are some minor changes in the organization’s guidelines, the most significant emphasis for the public remains to take action even if you’re not formally trained in CPR.

“If you’ve taken a CPR class and have been taught how to give breaths, then the breaths are still recommended,” she says. “If you don’t know CPR and you haven’t taken a class, then we just recommend hands-only CPR or compression-only CPR. Push hard and push fast and do something.”

Sears says the chest compressions should be done at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute, with the beat of the Bee Gees’ classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive” a perfect match for the timing. A quick demonstration of hands-only CPR can be found online at the American Heart Association website.

Sears notes that bystanders getting involved—calling 911, performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator if one is available—is  especially critical in rural areas where it can take time for emergency crews to respond.

“Having people who can initiate CPR before an ambulance can arrive or before first responders can arrive is vital in giving a patient any chance of survival in a cardiac arrest situation,” she says.

Sears says bystander CPR can double or even triple the odds of survival for those with cardiac arrest but less than half receive such help.

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Dorothy M. Blanchard


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Dorothy M. Blanchard (Streeter) 92 passed from this life into the next on Monday, June 22, 2015. She was born April 19, 1923 in Cedar Springs, MI the daughter of Ted and Bessie (Parker) Streeter. She was preceded in death by her parents, son, Robert Blanchard; and husband, John Blanchard; brother, Maurice Streeter. She leaves behind her children, Ron (Joy) Blanchard, Tonnie (Chuck) Smith, Jeff Blanchard, John Blanchard II, and Greg Blanchard; sister-in-law, Gay (Tom) Hudson; grandchildren, Blain (Angie) Blanchard, Tori (Chuck) Smith-VanBelle, Trevor Smith, Brandon (Kristie) Smith, Shelly (Phil) Scheer, Rene Blanchard, Haley (Joe) Saxinger, Jeffrey Blanchard, Samantha (Drew) Dutton, Erwin Blanchard, Tyler Blanchard; many great and great great grandchildren. Dorothy was a lifelong resident of Cedar Springs, her parent’s farm is now the site of the Cedar Springs High School, as well as the Streeter addition to the City of Cedar Springs, including Metron of Cedar Springs. The family will greet friends Wednesday from 6-8 pm and Thursday from 2-4 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services will be held Friday at 11:00 am. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Association for the Blind or American Heart Association.

Arrangements by  Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Donna J. Cloud


Donna J. Cloud, 70 of Cedar Springs, died Saturday, May 31, 2014 at her home. Donna was born May 19, 1944 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Kenneth and Louise (Dykman) VanDyke. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. Surviving are her husband, George whom she married on Nov. 3, 1964; sons, Joseph Cloud and Jeffrey Cloud; grandchildren, Laura, Hannah and Olivia; brother, Kenneth (Jackie) VanDyke; many nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 5 at 12 noon at Grace Evangelical Free Church, 4714 13 Mile Road, Rockford with a luncheon to follow. Pastor Kevin Reed officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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