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Why High Blood Pressure is a Major Health Issue in Charles County — and How We’re Trying to Change That

High blood pressure continues to affect a massive portion of the population around the country. It’s estimated that one out of every three American adults has high blood pressure but only half of those with this condition have it under control. 

Unfortunately, high blood pressure is also a problem that hits close to home, too. It’s an all-too-common condition that impacts a large percentage of the Charles County population, and it has some serious consequences for those who are living with it, if left unchecked.

How Common is High Blood Pressure in Charles County?

According to the latest data from the Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), nearly one-third of Charles County residents reported that they’ve been told by a healthcare professional that they have high blood pressure. In addition, high blood pressure is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in Charles County.

Heart attack and stroke — both of which have a risk factor that’s heavily predicated on a person’s blood pressure — are also serious health issues facing the entire state of Maryland. But Charles County residents face an even higher risk for these compared to other areas in the state. In fact, data from BRFSS indicated that 4.6 percent of Charles County residents reported that they’d had a stroke in their lifetime. This is in contrast to the 3.1 percent that was reported for all of Maryland.

The Effects of High Blood Pressure on a Person’s Overall Health

By itself, high blood pressure might not seem like a major issue; however, blood pressure is often a key factor in a person’s overall health. That’s because high blood pressure can damage the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the rest of the body.

Here are just a few of the ways high blood pressure impacts health outcomes in our country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Those with high blood pressure are three times more likely to die from heart disease and four times more likely to die from stroke
  • Adults with both diabetes and high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease
  • High blood pressure contributes to over 400,000 deaths every year
  • The associated costs of high blood pressure in our country exceed $48 billion annually

You can learn more about the different ways high blood pressure can affect your body here.

How UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care is Helping Patients Manage High Blood Pressure

Our primary care practice, UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care, is focused on improving the health of Charles County’s population through the management of conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. This expert team is led by Dr. Lorenzo Childress III and includes a certified nurse practitioner as well as a clinical dietitian.

Here’s how UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care is helping patients manage and improve their high blood pressure:

  • Conducting ongoing counseling, education, and diagnosis for high blood pressure and related conditions
  • Developing individualized care management plans that can help with managing high blood pressure
  • Providing referrals as needed for those with high blood pressure and other specialized conditions

Although this care is centered at a single practice in La Plata, MD, helping patients manage high blood pressure is a team effort that spans a variety of practices in our network. And there’s evidence to suggest team-based care such as this leads to improved outcomes for people with high blood pressure. In fact, using the CDC’s model data and based on Charles County’s current population, it’s estimated that team-based care could save nearly 50 more lives in our community over the next 10 years compared to single-doctor care.

To learn more about how UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care can help you or someone you know manage their high blood pressure, call (301) 609-5044 today to schedule an appointment (virtual office visits are available!).

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