The Cost of High Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure raises an employee’s healthcare costs by more than 30% and hypertension-related absenteeism costs employers an estimated $10.3 billion a year. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to other serious health issues, such as a stroke or heart attack. As stated by The Benefits Guide, employees with cardiovascular disease cost their employers an extra $1,100 each year in lost productivity alone, compared with healthier employees. That is why it is so important to detect high blood pressure early and encourage healthy lifestyle changes.
Detecting High Blood Pressure
New high blood pressure guidelines were presented on November 13, 2017. They were developed by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and nine other health professional organizations. Previous guidelines identified high blood pressure as ≥ 140/90 mm Hg and the new guidelines now define high blood pressure as anyone with a systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 130 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 80 mm Hg. These updates were made in order to help detect and treat high blood pressure early.
Help Lower Your Employees’ Blood Pressure
Listed below are tips from The Benefits Guide on how you can help lower your employees’ blood pressure:
- Incorporate on-site blood pressure screenings to help discover high blood pressure early and limit the damage done to the employee’s health.
- Raise awareness of hypertension among your workforce. Learning lunches, educational emails, and other wellness initiatives, can all help educate employees and hopefully drive intervention.
- Promote your wellness program throughout the entire organization. Be sure to cultivate top down buy-in. Employees that see participation and enthusiasm from their leaders are more likely to participate and report positive outcomes.
- Include diet, exercise and smoking cessation plans within your wellness program. Weight loss, dietary changes and increased physical activity are recognized as some of the best proven ways to prevent and treat high blood pressure.
- Consider integrating medical and pharmacy benefits to close care gaps. Integrated care helps doctors know if patients are taking their medication as prescribed. It also offers the benefit of medication reminders, home delivery, and counseling from pharmacists. These low-cost interventions are shown to improve medication adherence and reduce health risks.
For more information on reducing your employees’ high blood pressure, visit The Benefits Guide!