The Auen Foundation

Heart Association Program Reduces Blood Pressure

The Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion Coachella Val­ley Divi­sion Get to Goal hyper­ten­sion man­age­ment pro­gram led to a decrease in par­tic­i­pant blood pres­sure lev­els and an increase in knowl­edge about heart dis­ease. Most impor­tantly, by the end of the 4-month project, there was a decrease in the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants who were con­sid­ered hyper­ten­sive. The asso­ci­a­tion recently ver­i­fied the program’s findings.

The pro­gram ran at the Coachella Senior Cen­ter and Indio Senior Cen­ter between Octo­ber, 2013 and Feb­ru­ary, 2014. Par­tic­i­pants mea­sured their blood pres­sure a min­i­mum of twice per month over the 4-month period with test­ing machines that were installed at each cen­ter. Par­tic­i­pants also took part in a series of edu­ca­tional work­shops, which pro­vided infor­ma­tion about heart dis­ease, stroke, and healthy living.

Over the 4-month period, sig­nif­i­cant changes in par­tic­i­pant blood pres­sure read­ings were observed at both sites. At Indio Senior Cen­ter, par­tic­i­pants low­ered their sys­tolic blood pres­sure by an aver­age of 9.3 mmHg and their dias­tolic by 5.3 mmHg. At Coachella Senior Cen­ter, par­tic­i­pants low­ered their sys­tolic blood pres­sure by an aver­age of 9.8 mmHg and their dias­tolic by 3.3 mmHg.

In addi­tion, 76% of par­tic­i­pants improved their knowl­edge about heart dis­ease, stroke, and asso­ci­ated risk fac­tors as mea­sured using a pre– and post-test knowl­edge acqui­si­tion survey.

This is the Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion mis­sion at work,” said Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion and Amer­i­can Stroke Asso­ci­a­tion Coachella Val­ley Divi­sion Board Chair-elect Steve Weiss. “By reduc­ing hyper­ten­sion, we are reduc­ing a major risk fac­tor for heart dis­ease and stroke.”

The Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion Coachella Val­ley Get to Goal pro­gram was made pos­si­ble by fund­ing from the Auen Foundation.

We are happy to sup­port this pro­gram that encour­ages seniors to take con­trol of their own health,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Office for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “It’s excit­ing to see the suc­cess par­tic­i­pants had in a short amount of time, which demon­strates that edu­ca­tion and resources can make a dif­fer­ence in people’s lives.” # # #