Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County Recognizes Heart Month in February and Urges Floridians To Keep Blood Pressure In Check
Miami, FL – Each year, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County recognizes February as Heart Month, a time to increase heart disease awareness and promote prevention and treatment at home and in the community. This year public health officials are urging Floridians to keep their blood pressure in check by knowing their numbers. Preventing high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, can lower one’s risk for heart disease and stroke.
Nationally as well as for Florida, more people die each year from heart disease than from any other cause. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. An estimated one in two people in the United States has high blood pressure and one in four has their blood pressure under control. Learn more online at The Heart Truth® a national health education program by the NIH-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute that raises awareness about heart disease and encourages people to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Blood pressure can be measured by a healthcare pr ovider, at a pharmacy, or at home using a blood pressure monitor. According to the most recent guidelines, a normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg. Elevated blood pressure is 120 to 129 mmHg and less than 80 mmHg. Hypertension is blood pressure that is greater than 130/80 mmHg.
In addition to hypertension, the risk of heart disease is increased by unhealthy diets, particularly those high in salt, added sugars, and low levels of physical activity. Tobacco use is also one of the main risk factors, contributing to around 10% of all deaths.
During Heart Month in February, Dr. Yesenia Villalta DNP, MSN, APRN, Health Officer/ Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County would like to encourage everyone to have their blood pressure checked, and if it’s been more than a year since your last check-up, schedule an appointment to see a health care provider for a complete heart check-up including a careful look at your numbers such as blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels, blood pressure and more.
Heart disease and hypertension (high blood pressure) can be prevented and managed by practicing healthy living habits, such as eating healthy, staying active, not smoking, checking cholesterol, limiting alcohol use, controlling blood pressure, managing stress and talking with one’s healthcare team. More information how to manage blood pressure and prevent heart disease can be found on FloridaHealth.gov, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page CDC.gov/HeartDisease/.
During the month of February in recognition of American Heart Month, the DOH-Miami-Dade’s Office of Community Health & Planning, Community Health Action Team will be offering free blood pressure screening events for community members and its employees at two main service sites:
Frederica Wilson and Juanita Mann Health Center
- Where: 2520 NW 75 Street, Miami, FL 33147
When: Every Thursday in February
Contact: Witson Faustin at 786-732-8863 or Witson.Faustin2@FLHealth.gov
West Perrine Health Center
- Where: 18255 Homestead Avenue, Miami, FL 33157, North Entrance
When: Every Friday in February
Contact: Melissa Maytin at 786-732-8867 or Melissa.Maytin@FLHealth.gov
For information about the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, Office of Community Health & Planning program and services, please visit www.MiamiDade.FloridaHealth.gov or call 305-234-5400.