BLOOMFIELD, Conn.--()--Chances are good that you know someone with high blood pressure and chances are also good that they may not have the condition under control. With one in three American adults experiencing high blood pressure (also known as hypertension)1, and more than half not having it under control,2 Cigna created the One Heart-One Life campaign to help clients address this serious yet often preventable health condition. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke and, while it affects people of all ages and backgrounds, certain populations experience a serious health disparity when it comes to high blood pressure. For instance, nearly 40 percent of all African Americans have high blood pressure, compared to 31 percent of white Americans.3
“Health is not achieved with a one-off effort. Just filling out a health assessment once a year won’t create change--what makes the difference is having a continual program”
To address this health disparity, Cigna's Health Disparities Advisory Council, comprising 11 clients with diverse employee populations, will participate in the One Heart-One Life high blood pressure worksite campaign offering their employees a variety of health promotion tools to help raise awareness of high blood pressure and its very serious health implications. Dr. Scott Josephs, vice president and national medical director for Cigna, explains, “We’re reaching out to our clients’ employees through emails, posters, games and lunch-and-learn sessions—all designed to help people understand high blood pressure, the threat it poses to health and helpful tips to keep high blood pressure under control.”
“Health is not achieved with a one-off effort. Just filling out a health assessment once a year won’t create change--what makes the difference is having a continual program,” says Trinette Small, benefits coordinator for Memphis City Schools, a participating Cigna client. Crystal Duncan, benefits manager for Howard University, also participating in the campaign, explains, “With a high percentage of African Americans among our staff, we immediately knew we wanted to bring this campaign to our employees. My main goal with the One Heart-One Life campaign is to raise awareness of high blood pressure. Education is the critical first step—then we encourage employees to take the next step for their personal health.”
The objectives of the campaign are to:
1. Increase awareness about hypertension and its effects on health
2. Have people know and understand their blood pressure numbers and regularly test their blood pressure
3. Know and follow the lifestyle habits that contribute to a healthy blood pressure
4. Work with a medical professional to control and even improve their condition if they have hypertension
Results of the campaign will be available in June, 2013.
Editor’s Note: Health equity is one of four key focus areas of Cigna Connects, Cigna’s new corporate responsibility initiative and is a 24/7/365 effort. Find more information on the Cigna Connects vision at www.cigna.com/corporateresponsibility
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 78 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
1 CDC, National Center for Health Statistics
2 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2003 – 2010. Controlled hypertension is considered having a blood pressure of no higher than 120 systolic/80 diastolic
3 CDC 2012 Health United States, 2011. Table 70. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]