High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer, because many people don't know they have it, until something bad happens like a heart attack or stroke.
Realizing the risk, leaders at the Mount Tahoma Seventh Day Adventist Church in Tacoma teamed up with the American Heart Association to launch a free program called "Check. Change. Control."
The goal of the four month program is to help people understand blood pressure and improve their overall health, like church member and cancer survivor, Stephen Barrow.
"Good health leads to a long life and a long life leads to good service to God and to community," said Barrow. "So if you're going to be useful in this world, you've got to be healthy in this world."
In addition to monitoring blood pressure, the "Check. Change. Control" program offers church members and the community free access to exercise classes, diet and nutrition advice and even massage therapy.
Organizers say it's important people realize high blood pressure is anything above 130 over 80.
"People have high blood pressure and we walk around with it and we don't know it," said Donna Manier a nurse coordinator at the launch of the free program at Mt. Tahoma Church. "Eat healthy, a diet full of fruits and vegetables and lean protein, less fatty food and no salt or less salt."
The "Check. Change. Control" program launched March 16th and runs for 4 months.
To learn more click here. You can also call the American Heart Association at 206 336 7200.