Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Employees with High Blood Pressure Jeopardize Your Bottom Line

We are off to a new year with higher sales goals, bigger and better business plans and of course more personal and business related stress. You may be surprised to know medical studies suggest cell phones raise blood pressure along with anger and stress increasing your risk of stroke and heart attack.
With National Heart Month is just around the corner so now is a great time to start thinking your blood pressure and your wellness. 

If you think what you don't know won't hurt you, then you are dead wrong. High blood pressure is known as the Silent Killer because you generally will not experience an signs or symptoms to let you know you have high blood pressure. This is what makes it so dangerous to you. 

You may KNOW this ...

If you have high blood pressure are at risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and renal failure. Untreated high blood pressure even shortens your lifespan and can happen at any age. Even children are being diagnosed with high blood pressure. 

You may NOT know this ...
  • 47% of us have high blood pressure according to the Center for Disease Control Blood Pressure Facts.
  • 25% are diagnosed with high blood pressure as reported in the study published in the January issue of the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular and Quality Outcomes in December.
  • High blood pressure is the 1st leading cause of death in the U.S. and stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death. 
  • 10 % recover almost completely, 25 % recover with minor impairments and 40 % moderate to severe impairments requiring special care. 
What will it cost you and your company? 
Sick day pay, missed work days, productivity and disability are just the start. Here is what the National Stroke Association projects as the lifetime medical costs: 

$147,525 average medical costs  
$5,392 yearly cost of medications 
$17,081 inpatient rehabilitation 1 year
$98,350 outpatient rehabilitation

The National Stroke Association data shows that with simple steps, lifestyle changes and minor medical treatment, 80% of strokes can be prevented. For this reason we recommend your company sponsor Wellness Clinics to identify who is at risk, provide medical intervention and continuous disease prevention wellness education. Blood Pressure Clinics along with a Obesity Prevention Program in the form of a series of educational exposures, health coaching, cooking classes, supermarket teaching and periodic weight checks are provided reduce medical spending and improves presenteeism

To begin your company's program consult with the National Institutes of Health who have developed Prevent and Control America’s High Blood Pressure new program Mission Impossible  a website which includes fact sheets on healthy activities in English and Spanish, posters for businesses, lists of potential community partners, and recommendations for action in employee populations. 

This leaves us with the question "what will it cost my employer if I get sick?" A better question might be "can my company survive after paying for my illness." If the answer is unsure, then seek the help of a wellness expert to get your company on the road to better health before it's too late. Health is either a pay now program via prevention or pay later with medical treatment. It's smart for business to pick the
low cost option which is wellness programing.

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant

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