NORTHFIELD – In recognition of February as Heart Health Month, the Atlantic County Division of Public Health is offering free blood pressure screenings weekdays throughout the month.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in Atlantic County. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and kidney damage. When combined with obesity, smoking, high cholesterol or diabetes, the risk increases several times.
Residents may receive a free blood pressure screening during the month of February as follows:
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon at 201 S. Shore Road, Northfield (1st floor clinic) and each Tuesday, 10 a.m. to noon at 310 Bellevue Ave. in Hammonton. Appointments are not necessary.
Known as hypertension, high blood pressure can damage your heart, arteries, and other organs if left unmanaged. Monitoring blood pressure is very important, especially for those who have a family history of high blood pressure.
Blood pressure consists of two numbers that indicate the pressure of your heart when it beats (diastolic) and when it is at rest (systolic). Normal blood pressure is less than 120 diastolic and less than 80 systolic.
Individuals can help improve blood pressure by not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly as well as limiting alcohol use and sodium. Doctor-prescribed medications may also help maintain a healthy pressure.
Residents age 18 years and older who have not yet received a flu shot may also do so during any of these walk-in screenings. There is $15 fee but no out-of-pocket cost for Medicare Part B recipients who present their card at time of vaccination.
For more information about blood pressure screenings or flu shot vaccinations, call the Division of Public Health at 609-645-5935.