More than 75 percent of Americans who have a stroke have high blood pressure
CHICAGO, May 5, 2017 – May is Stroke Awareness Month and OMRON Healthcare is reminding Americans of one of the most important methods to prevent a stroke: monitor and manage your blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, undetected and uncontrolled hypertension is a leading risk factor for stroke. OMRON, the global leader in personal heart health technology, recently evolved its goal to focus on the elimination of heart attack and stroke and is advancing a national public education effort to encourage regular blood pressure monitoring as part of a healthy lifestyle.
“High blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for stroke. Seventy-five percent of Americans who have a stroke also have high blood pressure,” said Ranndy Kellogg, president & CEO of OMRON Healthcare. “Many people are unaware they are hypertensive and at higher risk of a stroke or they are not taking active steps to control their blood pressure. We want to change that through innovative new technology, increased awareness and tools to take action.”
Per the CDC, approximately one third of Americans have high blood pressure and one-in-five of them is completely unaware they carry this major risk factor for stroke.  Because high blood pressure causes damage to the lining of blood vessels, it can contribute to narrowed or clogged arteries which cause nearly 87 percent of strokes. Ruptured blood vessels as the result of high blood pressure are the cause of 13 percent of strokes.
“We know that regular blood pressure monitoring helps to prevent stroke. Why? People who know their blood pressure numbers can act on those health insights and make simple changes to control their hypertension and reduce their risk,” added Kellogg.
Kellogg said the story of Dina Piersawl shows how blood pressure factors into stroke risk and how that risk can be managed.
“I’m a former athlete. I considered myself healthy yet I suffered a stroke when I was 42 years of age,” said Ms. Piersawl. “I was stunned to learn that I’d been living with high blood pressure and was completely unaware. I was lucky to survive and I want to use my experience to help others.”
Dina now uses an FDA cleared, clinically accurate OMRON blood pressure monitor daily and is always aware of her heart health numbers and can share them with her health care provider. She uses those insights to adopt and maintain habits for better heart health: getting enough exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, kicking habits like smoking and excessive alcohol use and managing stress.
“They call high blood pressure ‘the silent killer,’” said Piersawl. “In my case, it almost was. We need to make noise about the importance of controlling hypertension and preventing stroke and monitoring your blood pressure is an easy and important daily habit.”
Ms. Piersawl now travels and speaks to groups to tell her story and volunteers with Women Heart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, which activates heart patients to educate others on the steps they can take to improve their heart health.
Throughout the month of May, OMRON is working with Ms. Piersawl to share important information and resources on stroke prevention via news media and social media in support of National Stroke Awareness Month.
Established in 1989, National Stroke Awareness Month aims to increase the public awareness about the warning signs of stroke, symptoms of a stroke, stroke prevention, and the impact of stroke on survivors, families and caregivers.
About OMRON Healthcare, Inc.
OMRON Healthcare, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of personal heart health and wellness products. OMRON’s market-leading products include home blood pressure monitors and electrotherapy devices. Since OMRON invented its first blood pressure monitors more than 40 years ago, the company has been passionate about empowering people to take charge of their health at home through precise technology. Helping people improve their ability to live a healthier life is the heart and soul of OMRON’s purpose. The company recently evolved its mission to Going for Zero, the elimination of heart attacks and strokes. For more information, visit OmronHealthcare.com.
MWWPR for OMRON Healthcare
 Mozzafarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, Arnett DK, Blaha MJ, Cushman M, et al., on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2016;133(4):e38–360.