May is Stroke Awareness Month
One out of every five Prime Therapeutics members use medicine to reduce their chances of having a stroke from high blood pressure. The American Stroke Association (ASA) reported that three out of four people who have a stroke report higher than normal blood pressure. So managing blood pressure is one the key actions to prevent strokes.
A stroke harms the arteries that run throughout the brain. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of disability. Approximately 80 million Americans have high blood pressure.
The most important part of preventing strokes is reducing blood pressure. This can be done through a healthier diet, exercising, stress management, and stopping tobacco use. All of these factors can reduce blood pressure, and therefore reduce the risk of having a stroke.
Statins are also another common way of preventing cholesterol and reducing its levels. People who take statins are 21 percent less likely to have strokes. LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, needs to be decreased. Having too much LDL can cause clots inside the arteries. This leads to a greater chance of causing high blood pressure as well as strokes.
To increase medication usage, Prime recommended outreach programs that address gaps in care by proactively reaching out to members and their doctors; extended supply programs to improve adherence; and making medicine more affordable.