Harlem Word: Dr. Ogedegbe talks about the cheapest way to lower high blood pressure

Editor March 13th

Dr. Ogedegbe is a hypertension specialist working on several projects in senior centers, churches, and low-income primary care
practices across the city in order to find out how changing a person’s lifestyle can help control high blood pressure.  He also works with Project SHARE and GetHealthyHarlem.org. Here he talks about how people can find ways to lower their blood pressure without spending a lot of money.

Q: Besides taking medication, what are some other ways to lower high blood pressure?
A: Physical activity, meditation, and anything you can do to lower stress have been shown to lower hypertension.  Exercising about three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes each time can lower high blood pressure. Reducing the amount of salt that you eat can also bring down high blood pressure.  But, reducing stress is the most important thing that can be done to help lower high blood pressure.

Q: Where can people who don’t have health insurance go to get low-cost hypertension medication?
A: The Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a major network of healthcare providers that give care to people even if they don’t have health insurance or cannot afford to pay for medication.  In the HHC network you pay about $2-3 for hypertension medication. The hospitals in Northern Manhattan that are a part of the HHC network are Harlem Hospital, Renaissance Health Care Network Diagnostic & Treatment Center, and Metropolitan Hospital Center.

There is also a program called the Medication Assistance Program. If you go online and search for “medication assistance program” you will be directed to websites of different drug companies that help patients that who cannot afford to pay for their medications. The patient must have a prescription from a healthcare provider.  Also, Wal-Mart has a Prescription Program where you can buy blood pressure medication for about $4. Northern Manhattan may not have a Wal-Mart  but orders for medication can be placed online and delivered to your home. If you are looking for something in the neighborhood, Target also offers a $4 Prescription Program.

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