At SHAPE's Urging, Texas Legislature Designates September 1st as 'Texas Blood Pressure Day'
|The resolution (HR 1359) is intended to rally broad support from all segments of the Texas community to raise awareness of the significant role that elevated blood pressure (hypertension) plays in cardiovascular disease including sudden death from heart attacks and stroke.||
Dr. Morteza Naghavi and resolution sponsor, Representative José Menendez, discuss the successful legislation.
Houston, Texas, Friday, July 27, 2013 - A Resolution to establish Texas Blood Pressure Day as an annual event each September 1st was passed by the Texas Legislature to raise public awareness of the importance of knowing your blood pressure and how hypertension relates to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.
The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE), a Houston-based nonprofit that promotes early detection and prevention to reduce the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, recommends frequent monitoring of your blood pressure as a critical first step in controlling elevated scores to achieve and maintain heart health.
In Texas, nearly 50,000 people died last year due to cardiovascular disease, most of which could have been prevented. This represents one of every four deaths in the state. Moreover, 28% of Texans have high blood pressure and over half of these conditions is uncontrolled, a major risk factor for heart attacks and stroke.
High blood pressure can lead to the build-up of plaque in your arteries, a disease called atherosclerosis, which is the primary cause of more than one million heart attacks and strokes that occur annually in the U.S.
“Both high blood pressure and atherosclerosis are silent killers! Hypertension is silent until heart failure or a stroke happens, and atherosclerosis is silent until a heart attack or sudden death occurs. Traditional clinical care pays doctors to treat patients after the damage occurs but does not pay them to detect and prevent it, this is not smart! ”said Dr. Morteza Naghavi, the founder of SHAPE and the Executive Chairman of the SHAPE Task Force that calls for an overhaul of existing cardiovascular healthcare policies.
This Resolution, authored by Rep. José Menendez of the 124th District in San Antonio, calls for the annual recognition of the importance of knowing and controlling your blood pressure, as hypertension is a leading risk factor for heart attacks and stroke.”
“Cardiovascular disease has been the number one killer in Texas and the country for too long. Doing what we have done in the past will continue to kill people at these same high rates. We must adopt new strategies.” said Harvey S. Hecht, MD, a founding member of the SHAPE Task Force.
"We look forward to observing September 1 each year as Texas Blood Pressure Day to increase public knowledge of each individual's personal risk of cardiovascular disease and what they can do to prevent a heart attack or stroke, including checking their blood pressure frequently."
The Society for Heart Attack Prevention & Eradication (SHAPE) is a nonprofit organization created to
promote public education and to support research related to early detection, prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis (arterial plaque build-up), the most prevalent underlying cause of heart attacks and stroke. SHAPE is committed to raising public awareness on the shortfalls of the status quo, which grossly fails to detect the Vulnerable Patient. A Vulnerable Patient is defined as a seemingly healthy individual who has significant atherosclerosis and is at a high risk of heart attack, but has no sign or symptom and, therefore, is unaware of his or her risk. These are the vulnerable individuals that suddenly experience a heart attack and usually die within an hour.
ABOUT SHAPE TASK FORCE
The SHAPE Task Force, an international group of leading cardiovascular physicians and researchers, has created the SHAPE Guidelines that educate physicians on how to identify asymptomatic atherosclerosis (hidden plaques) and implement proper therapies to prevent a heart attack or stroke. According to the SHAPE Guidelines, individuals with high risk atherosclerosis (high plaque score) should be treated even if their cholesterol level is within the so-called normal range. Knowing one's plaque score is important. In fact, it can be a matter of life and death! Additional information is available at http://www.shapesociety.org or by calling 1-877-SHAPE11.
The SHAPE Task Force includes the following:
Morteza Naghavi, M.D. – Executive Chairman
PK Shah, M.D. – Chair of Scientific Board
Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D. – Chief of Editorial Committee
SHAPE Task Force Members (alphabetic order):
Arthur Agatston, M.D., Daniel S. Berman, M.D., Matthew J. Budoff, M.D., Raimund Erbel, M.D., Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D., Sergio Fazio, MD, PhD, Steven B. Feinstein, M.D., Craig Hartley, Ph.D., Harvey S. Hecht, M.D., Howard Hodis, M.D., Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D., Sanjay Kaul, M.D., M.P.H., Asher Kimchi. M.D., Wolfgang Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., Iftikhar J. Kullo, M.D., Daniel Lane, M.D., Ph.D., Roxana Mehran, M.D., Ralph Metcalfe, Ph.D., Morteza Naghavi, M.D., Tasneem Z. Naqvi, M.D., Jagat Narula, M.D., Paolo Raggi, M.D., George P. Rodgers, M.D., James HF Rudd, Ph.D., Robert S. Schwartz, M.D., PK Shah, M.D., Leslee Shaw, M.D., David Spence, M.D., H. Robert Superko, M.D., Henrik Sillesen, M.D., Ph.D., Pierre-Jean Touboul, M.D.
Distinguished SHAPE Task Force Advisor: Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair of SHAPE Board of Directors: JoAnne Zawitoski
Executive Director of SHAPE Center of Excellence: Jeff Fine, Ph.D.
SHAPE Task Force Executive Coordinator and SHAPE CEO: Richard Hellner