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FOR RELEASE: May 12, 2004
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Sticking to Your Treatment Plan Can Save Your Life
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month
(Part 2 in a Series)

Remind yourself to stick to your high blood pressure treatment plan during National High Blood Pressure Education Month in May. High blood pressure can cause damage without showing any signs or symptoms. That is why it is called “The Silent Killer”. But while you may feel fine, high blood pressure is taking its toll on your heart, your blood vessels, and your kidneys. In fact, high blood pressure is one of the most important factors leading to heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease, according to health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).

The appropriate medications, along with some lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, following a healthy eating plan, reducing sodium in your diet, and drinking alcohol only in moderation, can reduce and control your blood pressure.

In 2001, nearly 30 percent of Oklahoma adults reported ever being told by their doctor that they have high blood pressure. Nearly 77 percent of these Oklahomans take medications to control their high blood pressure. However, one of the most common reasons for uncontrolled high blood pressure is remembering to take the prescribed medication(s). Here are some tips to help you do this:

  • Take your medications at the same time every day. For example, if your doctor told you to take your pills with food, try taking them at mealtime every day. Or, take your medications at the same time as you do some other regular activity - like brushing your teeth.
  • Keep your pills near the kitchen table or your toothbrush as another reminder to take your medication at the same time as you eat or brush your teeth.
  • Try using a special pillbox that helps keep your pills organized. You can buy these containers at most drugstores or pharmacies.
  • Write yourself reminder notes. Put them on the refrigerator, by the phone, on the medicine cabinet, or even on the bathroom mirror.
  • Ask for help. Family or friends can be a great support system. Put together a team. If you have friends who also take medication, help remind each other.
  • Put a favorite picture of a loved one on the refrigerator with a note that says, “Remember to Take Your High Blood Pressure Medicine and Stick Around for Them.”

For other tips and more information about controlling your high blood pressure, visit “Your Guide to Controlling High Blood Pressure” online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/index.html or you may also contact the OSDH Chronic Disease Service at 405/271-4072 or your local health department for more information on high blood pressure.

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