New Class Targets High Blood Pressure in Active Duty Service Members - Camp Lejeune Globe: News

New Class Targets High Blood Pressure in Active Duty Service Members

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Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 1:30 pm

High blood pressure (BP) is not often associated with active duty service members who are categorized as fit individuals.

In the last year, the number of active duty Marines and Sailors on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune diagnosed with high BP has increased over 25 percent, according to Francine Reeves, a health promotions and wellness registered nurse.

Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Health Promotions and Wellness team has recognized the rise in MCB Camp Lejeune’s active duty being diagnosed with high BP and have created a class to target this unique population and lower that percentage.

The first Active Duty Hypertension class will be held between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 17, at Building 4 on Post Lane on MCB Camp Lejeune.

Future iterations of the class will then be offered every third Monday of the month at the same time and place.

Collaboratively taught by NMCCL Nutrition Department and Health Promotions and Wellness registered nurses, the classes will discuss several points which include: a definition of high blood pressure, why veterans are more at risk for high BP, why having high BP can affect readiness and how active duty service members can lower their blood pressure through evidence-based lifestyle changes.

Active duty service members are more susceptible to high BP, than civilian populations, explained Reeves, so the drastic increase in diagnoses is explainable.

“Veterans who see multiple tours of combat are 33% more likely to have high blood pressure,” said Reeves. “Furthermore, veterans who personally witnessed a death due to war or disaster are 50% more likely to have high blood pressure.”

Active duty diagnosed with high BP may require modifications to exercise expectations or take medications to control their BP depending on the severity. Each of these things can affect their readiness and ability to operate at the level expected of the nation’s finest fighting force.

The Active Duty Hypertension class aims to help service members educate themselves on their high BP and potentially make changes to lower their BP.

A referral from a provider is not required to attend the class, however, registering ahead of time is encouraged.

For more information on the class or to register, call 910-451-3712.

For more information on Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune visit med.navy.mil/sites/nhcl/Pages/default.aspx.