HILO, HI – November 27, 2017 – Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi (Hui Mālama) responds in support of recent blood pressure guideline updates from the American Heart Association lowering threshold for high blood pressure to 130/80. Previous guidelines listed threshold as 140/90. With the changes, nearly half of the United States are now identified as having high blood pressure.

Hui Mālama Executive Director Louis Hao shares, “This change impacts our community in the sense that many more people are now defined as having ‘high blood pressure’. The same work remains as before: to educate ourselves and take the proper steps to best manage our health. I want our Hawaiʻi Island community to know we are here for you. Just as health issues do not discriminate and can impact any one of us, our services are open to the public and here for every one of you. If you have high blood pressure, let us help. Together, we can help you understand hypertension and what you can do to live a healthy life.”

Hui Mālama has offered hypertension classes on Hawaiʻi Island for most of the last decade. The classes are held year-round across the island in Hilo, Puna, Kaʻu, Kona, and Waimea. Classes are free and open to anyone with a hypertension diagnosis. Led by Hui Mālama health educators, hypertension classes consist of a 2-hour session once a week for three weeks. Participants learn about hypertension, causes, reducing risk, and how to manage the condition while leading a healthy life.

Hui Mālama Community Health Coordinator Wanda Louis, RN, strongly encourages everyone to have their blood pressure checked, “It is important to know what your numbers are. Find out today. Once you know, we can help you with your next steps. Don’t be afraid of your numbers. We’ll work with you. If your numbers are high, we’ll teach you how to manage high blood pressure. It is better to know your numbers so you make the right plan for you.”

Free blood pressure checks are offered at the Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi office at 1438 Kīlauea Ave., Hilo. Community members can also ask local fire departments and most pharmacies for blood pressure checks. Regular doctor visits are crucial for each person to do and also provide the chance for blood pressure checks.

Hui Mālama encourages the Hawaiʻi Island community to be proactive in their health. Visit the doctor and have their blood pressure checked. For all, healthy eating, physical activity, and managing stress are three key factors in keeping a healthy blood pressure. If needed, physicians may prescribe medication as a tool for blood pressure management.

Hui Mālama strives to stay informed on health trends and needs, developing health education services to best help the needs of Hawaiʻi Island. With the changes to guidelines for high blood pressure, Hui Mālama wants the community to know they are here to help.

For more information, the 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults official report from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines published on November 13, 2017 can be found online at heart.org.