The heart can break up with you if you don’t treat it right. That’s the message in a series of public service announcements launching Thursday to get people to take better care of their hearts.
The videos, created in a partnership with the American Heart Association and the Ad Council, target people with hypertension who do not have their high blood pressure under control. Only about half of the 78 million Americans with high blood pressure have their condition controlled to a healthy level.
“There are 78 million adults living with high blood pressure in the United States, many who are not under the care of a physician or have not taken the steps to modify their lifestyles once diagnosed,” said Mariell Jessup, M.D., president of the American Heart Association. “This campaign is a wakeup call.”
If left untreated, high blood pressure, or hypertension, can damage the heart and coronary arteries, and lead to serious consequences including heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, vision loss and atherosclerosis (fatty buildups in the arteries that cause them to harden).
The campaign encourages those with hypertension to become active in managing their condition by checking their high blood pressure, changing unhealthy behaviors and taking control of their overall health.
Because high blood pressure has no symptoms, it’s sometimes called “the silent killer”.
“This campaign will aim to reach the millions of individuals who haven’t considered the potentially life-threatening effects and empower them to make take the appropriate steps to get their blood pressure under control,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council.
In one video, a man walks into a room where his heart, the same actor in a red costume, is packing its bags. When asked what his heart is doing, it replies, “I’m leaving.” They eventually make up, but the red dressed heart delivers one last ultimatum: “Remember,” he said. “If I go, you go.”