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WVU Ohio County Extension Service Offers Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Station

WHEELING — The West Virginia University Extension Service has made it easier for area residents to check their blood pressure with a self-monitoring station in Ohio County.

To raise awareness about the station, a heart health open house will be held at the extension office, 51 16th St., room 301, from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 22. Light, heart-healthy refreshments will be served.

The self-monitoring station is available for use at the extension office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The service is free and no appointment is necessary.

WVU Extension Service officials said there are a few key tips to note about getting an accurate reading. While exercise is great, it could potentially cause an inaccurate reading, so wait 30 minutes after exercising to check blood pressure. Additionally, avoid smoking, eating heavy meals and drinking caffeinated beverages before taking a reading. Wearing clothing with sleeves that are rolled up easily is necessary to place the cuff against the skin to get an accurate reading.

According to the Extension Service, one in three adults has high blood pressure, and only half of those that know they do have it under control. Many more don’t know they have high blood pressure, which can lead to a sudden heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, vision loss and sexual dysfunction.

However, one of the easiest ways to monitor overall heart health is checking blood pressure frequently and knowing the numbers in addition to talking to, and scheduling regular appointments with, a primary care doctor.

For more information about the program in Ohio County, call the extension office at 304-234-3673. A list of additional locations around the state can be found online at extension.wvu.edu/food-health/heart-health/blood-pressure-stations.

This program is sponsored by a grant from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

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