A "Dash" of Health to Lower Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

Ann Bauer
Community Nurses

– The Community Nurses have joined with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in promoting DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, a healthy lifestyle plan aimed at lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels across the country. The Community Nurses will host a free education program, A Little DASH Will Do You Good, focused on reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. The event will be held on Thursday, July 24 in the Education Center of Penn Highlands Elk in St. Marys. Blood pressure screenings will be offered at 6:00 p.m. with the program beginning at 6:30 p.m.

According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 81 million people are affected by at least one form of cardiovascular disease. “Heart disease has become a national epidemic,” explains Julie Heary, RN, BSN, Community Nurses Education Coordinator, “but we can begin to take small steps today to lower our risk tomorrow. The July 24 program is targeted toward helping both men and women lower their blood pressure and cholesterol through a natural and healthy approach.”

While high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease, cannot be cured, it can be prevented. A common but often overlooked culprit of high blood pressure is sodium intake. The National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI) advises less than 2.4 grams (2,400 mg), or one teaspoon, per day.

A Little DASH Will Do You Good was developed by Spirit of Women and is locally promoted by the Women’s Health Center of Penn Highlands Healthcare. Spirit of Women® is a national network of leading hospitals dedicated to improving women's lives with innovative health and community programs. The program will be presented by Lori Rancik, RN, BSN.

Community Nurses, Inc., an affiliate of Penn Highlands Elk, is a home care agency providing home health, hospice, private duty/home support services, and adult day care to the residents of Cameron, Elk and McKean Counties, and parts of Clearfield, Jefferson and Potter Counties.