Do you or a loved one have high blood pressure? When you have hypertension it’s important to be proactive about your health. However, many people with high blood pressure don’t have easy access to health care. This situation is made even more complex with the growing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
High blood pressure is particularly concerning for the Black community who are disproportionately impacted by the disease. In fact, according to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Black Americans aged 35-64 years are 50% more likely to have high blood pressure than Caucasians and those of Hispanic descent.
TYLENOL® is offering the following tips and considerations to help you manage high blood pressure at home during COVID-19 and beyond. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
1. Consider which pain medications may be more appropriate if you have hypertension
One in two U.S. adults is hypertensive, according to the American College of Cardiology. Yet 82% of patients surveyed by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc in 2017 with high blood pressure were unaware that NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and aspirin, can interfere with their high blood pressure medication. If you or someone you care for has high blood pressure, talk to a pharmacist or other health care professional with any questions you have about what OTC pain reliever may be right for you. The American Heart Association® recommends avoiding NSAIDs for over-the-counter pain relief because they may further elevate blood pressure, and choosing an alternative therapy, such as acetaminophen.
TYLENOL® contains acetaminophen and may be appropriate for patients who are concerned about the effects that NSAIDs can have on blood pressure. TYLENOL® won’t increase your blood pressure nor interfere with certain blood pressure medications the ways NSAIDs sometimes can. Unlike some NSAIDs, there is no warning on the TYLENOL® over-the-counter drug facts label to ask a doctor before use if you have high blood pressure. Learn more at www.tylenol.com.
2. Explore healthy eating and cooking opportunities
Spending more time at home can have many benefits, especially when it comes to what you eat. Rather than being on-the-go and feeling rushed to grab whatever is available to eat, the gift of time lets you take a step back and look at what you’re putting in your body. Stock your fridge and cabinets with heart-healthy foods — such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains — to encourage everyone to eat well.
Additionally, with ample time you can try new recipes using healthy foods and consider meal and snack planning to keep your eating on track. You also can explore new cooking methods such as steaming, sautéing or using a convection oven. If you have a spouse, partner or kids, consider making this a group effort to try a new healthy recipe together. You might be surprised how tasty low-sodium, heart-healthy cooking can be!
3. Find new ways to exercise at home
For many people, the pandemic disrupted exercise routines. Health clubs and sports fields are closed or at limited capacity, and group fitness classes are difficult considering social distancing best practices. Many people have stopped the things they loved to do to stay safe, but it’s important to adopt new healthy habits in the meantime.
Getting 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise daily is ideal. This could be something as simple as taking a morning walk around the block to get the day going, or finding free at-home fitness classes online or through streaming TV services. Go with another person in your household to keep you accountable. It’s important to find an exercise routine that works for you, and stick with it, to benefit your heart health. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting or changing any exercise regimen.
4. Adopt clean habits to protect everyone
In addition to COVID-19 concerns, it’s now cold and flu season, which means a host of other viral illnesses will be circulating. Make sure you’re washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when you leave the house and wear a mask in public. When you return home, wash hands immediately upon entry.
5. Keep track of your health numbers
It’s especially important for individuals with hypertension to keep track of key health numbers, including blood pressure, cholesterol and weight, which provide vital information about your health. These are easy metrics to track from home using simple tools, such as a blood pressure monitor or scale, so you can take your heart health into your own hands.
TYLENOL® is partnering with several local affiliates of the National Urban League to provide resources needed and safety education to communities with an increased prevalence of hypertension. You can also visit the American Heart Association to learn more about how to monitor these health metrics based on your individual health needs.
Staying healthy is important for everyone during the pandemic, especially communities disproportionately impacted by high blood pressure. For more information, go to www.tylenol.com.
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© J&JCI 2020