Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Countdown Screens for Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Countdown Screens for Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

Article excerpt

Last year, more than 8,000 people in metropolitan Oklahoma City were among the participants in CountDown USA, the first national screening for both blood pressure and cholesterol.

Eighty percent of those screened by technicians from Baptist Medical Center, Deaconess Hospital, Midwest Memorial Hospital, and Norman Regional Hospital had cholesterol levels higher than medicine views as desirable. Nationally, 71 percent had levels above the healthy norm.

The second CountDown is scheduled April 26. For the participants who want to know how well they're living, the screenings are free. This year, however, a new twist goes into the effort.

Leslie Gamble, the public relations director at Deaconess, says younger adults are prime targets. The available evidence suggests that young people are less interested.

A new Gallup survey commissioned by Voluntary Hospitals of America Inc., shows that adults 50 or older are significantly more likely to have altered their diets than those between the ages of 20 and 34.

The findings could be interpreted to mean that older individuals are more aware of cholesterol levels and the link to heart disease. Fifty percent of those above 50 had changed their eating habits, Gallup reported, but only 38 percent of those under 34 had make changes in their eating behaviors.

The survey also disclosed that many more people are making the effort to check cholesterol levels. A year ago, only 17 percent of those surveyed knew their cholesterol levels. This year 32 percent, nearly twice as many, knew what their levels were.

Gallup found that people who know their blood cholesterol counts are more likely to get blood pressure readings, too.

In fact, 56 percent of those polled said a doctor or other health professional had talked with them about the increased risk of heart disease associated with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or smoking. …

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