The American Heart Association, through a grant funded by TD Bank, worked with The Good Samaritan Clinic and South Carolina PASOS to implement a self-monitoring blood pressure initiative with pregnant women participating in Centering Pregnancy. The self-monitoring blood pressure initiative includes long-term education, provision of blood pressure cuffs, connection to physical activity, food insecurity screening and connection to food and nutrition security resources.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of maternal death in the U.S. Simply put, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms. On average, about one in every 16 Hispanic women aged 20 and older have coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease.
Hispanic mothers hold a special place in their homes when it comes to family decisions. They are considered the head of the family for their key role in raising children and teaching younger generations. More than 61% of Hispanic mothers are also part of the U.S. workforce. Juggling multiple roles – from family responsibilities, which often include caring for aging parents, to demanding jobs, often low wage, may leave them with less time to prioritize their health. In fact, adverse outcomes related to cardiovascular diseases disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic mothers. These cardiovascular related adverse childbirth outcomes have increased in the U.S., widening racial and ethnic disparities. This poses a threat to women’s heart health during pregnancy and later in life, making it important that women understand how to care for themselves and their babies.
The self-monitoring blood pressure initiative supports women during all stages of maternal care, starting with the importance of managing their blood pressure. Blood pressure is the key vital sign to detecting hypertensive disorders, like preeclampsia, in pregnancy. Lowering high blood pressure reduces stroke risk by approximately 80%, when proper life changes are put into play.
“As champions for health equity, the American Heart Association believes that everyone everywhere deserves the opportunity to live a full and healthy life,” said Crystal Kirkland, Executive Director for the American Heart Association. “We are so thankful for the grant from TD Bank allowing us to provide lifesaving information, training and self-monitoring blood pressure cuffs to Hispanic mothers in the Midlands.”
To learn more about the American Heart Association visit, heart.org/Midlands.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.