May 01, 2012

Check Your Blood Pressure Regularly

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5 months 3 weeks

Most of us have a friend or relative who has had high blood pressure at some point in their life—it affects the health of approximately 68 million Americans. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, 2 of the 3 leading causes of death.

You may even have high blood pressure, so it’s important to get your blood pressure checked routinely. Medicare can help—we cover blood pressure screening as part of your “Welcome to Medicare” visit and your Yearly Wellness Visit—at no cost to you.

There are lots of ways you can check your blood pressure regularly, to keep on top of any changes between wellness visits. Check your local newspaper’s events calendar for local senior centers or libraries offering free blood pressure screenings. Visit health fairs that come to your community, where nurses may be on duty to check your blood pressure. Some supermarkets and drug stores offer a free automated machine next to their pharmacies, so why not use it the next time you pick up your prescriptions? You’ll feel good knowing you’re paying attention to an important part of your health.

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month—learn more about how you can lower your blood pressure. Also, watch our short YouTube video about Medicare’s efforts to curb hypertension.