Kansas legislators gather at Capitol for ‘Blood Pressure Check Day’

According to the Heart Association, 35% of Kansans have high blood pressure.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:16 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The American Heart Association, along with the Kansas EMS Association, hosted Blood Pressure Check Day at the Statehouse.

Nancy Holland has a personal reason for helping lawmakers check in on their health.

“I’m a survivor of cardiac arrest and two heart attacks. So it goes to show that things can happen to you. This isn’t something that just happens to a friend of a friend of a friend,” Holland said.

Holland is a member of the American Heart Association’s Advocacy Group.

She has a message for those who think they are too healthy too be affected by heart issues.

“Trust me, you think you’re fine until you’re not,” Holland said.

She said both of her heart attacks came at times when she felt just fine.

“I felt absolutely perfect that day. I was doing my errands, went to dinner with my husband and collapsed in a restaurant from cardiac arrest.

According to the Heart Association, 35% of Kansans have high blood pressure, Holland says it’s best to be proactive about your health rather than waiting until it’s too late.

“You don’t want it to be something that you connect all the dots once you’ve already had a heart event. Start keeping a tab on it right now,” said Holland.

Left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

State Senator Carolyn McGinn said she is glad the checks are being offered due to the high-stress nature of the political environment.

“If people would check to see how they are right now and then when we get towards the end of session, when things can get very stressful, I hope they come back because I do worry about a lot of my colleagues that sometimes get pretty uptight about issues.”

The Heart Association said everyone should be aware of risk factors, along with the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.