New Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure Program Available in Wyoming

New Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure Program Available in Wyoming

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is targeting high blood pressure with a new, free program that includes blood pressure self-monitoring, education and other support.

Known as the Healthy Heart Ambassador Program, the effort will be available at no cost to Wyoming adults diagnosed with high blood pressure.

“High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the major risk factors for developing heart disease,” said Amber Nolte, Chronic Disease Prevention Program manager with WDH. “Hypertension is often referred to as a ‘silent killer’ because it does not have obvious symptoms.”

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Nolte noted the second leading cause of death in Wyoming last year was heart disease with more than 1,100 deaths according to Vital Statistics Services, also part of WDH.

“High blood pressure is when the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is consistently too high,” Nolte said. “Unfortunately, many people with high blood pressure don’t realize it so we want to help them learn if they are at risk and then give them the tools to do something about it.”

“High blood pressure risk factors include health conditions, lifestyle and family history,” Nolte said. “While risk factors such as age or family history are out of our hands, there are other steps we can take to lower our risk.” Modifiable risk factors include:

  • Lack of physical activity
  • An unhealthy diet, especially one high in sodium
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Sleep apnea
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Stress

The Healthy Heart Ambassador Program is a four-month program that focuses on regular home self-monitoring of blood pressure using proper measuring techniques, one-on-one consultations with a trained program facilitator, group-based nutrition education for better blood pressure management and support from the program facilitator.

The program is initially being offered through partner groups in Carbon, Fremont, Hot Springs, Laramie and Washakie counties. Nolte said it’s hoped the effort can be extended to other Wyoming locations over time.

More information about the program, including current locations, can be found here.