May is High Blood Pressure Education Month

May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. It's natural for blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day but can cause damage to your health and heart if it's elevated for too long. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a staggering 48.1%, or 119.9 million adult Americans, opens a new window present with high blood pressure, also know as hypertension. Regularly checking your blood pressure is important because high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart disease, kidney disease, loss of vision and more. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer,” because it is capable of creating serious damage to the circulatory system, while presenting no obvious symptoms.

In an effort to bring awareness to this silent killer, The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (PLYMC) formed a partnership with the American Heart Association, opens a new window this year to bring "Libraries with Heart" to Mahoning County residents.

The “Libraries with Heart”, opens a new window initiative makes blood pressure monitors accessible to the public at all 14 of the Library’s locations. To utilize this service, simply visit one of PLYMC’s libraries and ask an employee to show you to the Blood Pressure Hub. Along with the blood pressure monitor, you will find materials on how to check your blood pressure, an explanation of how to interpret your results, and a list of local providers in the instance that you need to follow-up.

Hypertension qualifies as a systolic (top) number of 120 or less, and a diastolic (bottom) number of less than 80. If your results are higher than the normal range, it is important that you seek advice from a medical professional. To learn more about how to keep your blood pressure in check, visit, opens a new window.

In addition to our Blood Pressure Hubs, visit our events calendar, opens a new window to find programs on health and fitness. We offer a variety of classes that incorporate cooking, nutrition and exercise to help you lead a healthy lifestyle! We also have a list of free wellness resources, opens a new window that can help provide further information.