Texas names annual blood pressure day

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The state of Texas designated September 1 as its annual Texas Blood Pressure Day, an event created to make the public aware of the importance of monitoring blood pressure and the cardiovascular risks associated with hypertension.

The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE), a Houston-based nonprofit organization that advocates early detection and prevention of cardiovascular events, was the driving force behind the legislation enacting Texas Blood Pressure Day.

“Both high blood pressure and atherosclerosis are silent killers. Hypertension is silent until heart failure or a stroke happens, and atherosclerosis is silent until a heart attack or sudden death occurs. Traditional clinical care pays doctors to treat patients after the damage occurs but does not pay them to detect and prevent it; this is not smart,” said Morteza Naghavi, MD, in a release. He is the founder of SHAPE and the executive director of the SHAPE task force, a group leading an overhaul of cardiovascular health policies.

In the state of Texas, about 50,000 people died from cardiovascular disease last year, and most of those deaths were preventable, according to the organization. Additionally, 28 percent of Texans have high blood pressure and in more than half of them, the condition is uncontrolled.