On May 21 2015, 17 Carrington College campuses across eight states came together to try and set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for recording the highest number of blood pressures in an eight hour period.
Despite a valiant effort from all involved, recording over 700 blood pressure readings an hour (that’s nearly 12 every minute!) for eight hours, we fell short of the mammoth record set only a few weeks ago in India. But our collective achievement of 5,698 blood pressure readings is something to be proud of.
Increasing Awareness of a Silent Killer
Although we didn’t break a world record, we did achieve something far more important. May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month.
Our attempt, thanks to extensive social media coverage and numerous TV and radio stations in the communities around our campuses, has raised awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure… and knowledge is power.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, but only about half of those 78 million Americans have it under control.1 And 1 in 5 of those with high blood pressure, don’t know it. 2
“The goal of our World Record attempt was to increase our local communities’ knowledge about their blood pressure and educate them about health risks associated with both pre-hypertension and hypertension,” Dr. Danika Bowen, Carrington College provost/vice president of academic affairs and accreditation liaison officer explained.
Potential Life Savers
While not record breaking, let’s put our achievement into human numbers.
- We completed 5,698 blood pressure readings on the day.
- The AHA estimates 33% of American adults have high blood pressure, so statistically that equates to 1,900 of the people we saw on campus.
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about 20% of adults with HBP are unaware of it. That means up to 380 people potentially discovered they should consult their doctor for advice.
A few facts about blood pressure3:
- 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure contributes to about 1000 deaths per day.
- Annual medical costs associated with high blood pressure total about $51 billion.
- If you have high blood pressure you are at 4x greater risk to suffer a stroke.
- If you have high blood pressure you are 3x more likely to die from heart disease.
- Only 47% of people with high blood pressure have it under control.
For everything you need to know about blood pressure, check out the infographic on our blog.
Thanks to all students, staff, and faculty who participated in our attempt. Although we fell short of the world record, we can all be proud of our efforts… If this event saved just one life by raising awareness of high blood pressure, then that’s more valuable than any record.
1 Go AS, et al. AHA Statistical Update, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2013, A Report from the American Heart Association. December 12, 2012. 2012 Sept 7;61:703-9.
2 Farley TA, Dalal MA, Mostashari F, Frieden TR. Deaths preventable in the U.S. by improvements in the use of clinical preventive services. Am J Prev Med. 2010;38(6):600–9.