Lower blood pressure, lower bottom line
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month, so it’s the perfect time to remind your employees about the importance of regular blood pressure screenings.
In 2010, high blood pressure -- or hypertension -- was estimated to cost the U.S. $76.6 billion in health
1care, medications, and missed work. And presenteeism due to hypertension, when an employee comes
2 to work but isn’t at his or her best, costs employers about $247 per employee with high blood pressure.
1Since about a third of U.S. adults has it, that amounts to a large chunk of change.
To cut down on what high blood pressure is costing your company:
; Educate your workforce. Make sure they know the dangers of hypertension and pre-
hypertension. Have a health professional visit the office to provide free blood pressure
3 screenings -- more than one in five people with high blood pressure don’t know they have it.
For colorful posters, brochures, and educational materials, visit anthem.com/timewellspent and
look under “Know Your Numbers.”
; Get them moving. Being physically active dramatically lowers a person’s risk for developing high
4blood pressure.In fact, regular exercise can cut it in half. Encourage your employees to be
active by negotiating a discount with a local gym, sponsoring company-wide fitness events, or
offering incentives for getting fit.
45; Keep them balanced. Aside from raising blood pressure, employee stress is costly in itself. To
cut your costs, take a proactive approach. Take advantage of a free “Quality of Worklife
Questionnaire” from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and form a team
to make recommendations on how to improve working conditions and reduce stress. In the
meantime, keep lines of communication open so your employees feel confident they’re being
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, High Blood Pressure Frequently Asked Questions (February
1, 2010): cdc.gov
2 Medscape Cardiology, The Epidemiology of Hypertension: Latest Data and Statistics: New Report Documents Economic Impact of Hypertension in the United States (2007): medscape.com
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, High Blood Pressure Facts (March 12, 2011): cdc.gov
4 WebMD, High Blood Pressure Prevention (March 6, 2009): webmd.com
5 University of Massachusetts Lowell, Financial Costs of Job Stress (accessed April 21, 2011): uml.edu
This information is brought to you through collaboration between your chamber, NOACC and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.