The Breast Care Center at Methodist Hospital held their Healthy Night Out with the Girls event Thursday night, bringing women together for pampering as well as health education. The focus for this quarterly event was the new blood pressure guidelines.
Manager of the Breast Center Jennifer Sanders said they have been putting on this event for the last five years.
“Initially we wanted to bring women together and focus on breast health and mammograms," Sanders said. "Now we changed it because a woman is not only her breast. There are other parts of us that we need to keep healthy. We have turned it into a whole-woman concept. Every year we cover heart health, osteoporosis, menopause and usually a cancer session. This class is meant to give women a focus on their health."
Sanders wants to educate women on all aspects of their health. She encourages women to keep up on their exams and pay attention to anything that would be out of the normal.
“Here in Northwest Indiana, we have one of the highest breast cancer rates in the country," Sanders said. "With that being said, women are dying twice as much from heart disease. If there is an opportunity to bring attention to that, and we can use the Breast Center as an avenue to bring women in, that’s how we can help out. We really just want women to take care of themselves."
The evening has a focus every time it is held- for women to remember the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“We are always encouraging women to be mindful when it comes to health. We don’t want to tell them, but to have them be a part of their own health. We want them to stick with it and to maintain and keep a healthier lifestyle,” said Sanders
Women gathered from the community with friends for a night of health education and pampering.
Deborah Franklin came with her daughter and said she wanted to learn the new blood pressure guidelines.
“I wanted to make sure my blood pressure is intact. I wanted to make sure I am not at high risk. You need to keep healthy because you never know what could happen,” Franklin said.
The night included a presentation, blood pressure screenings, chair and hand massages, bra fittings, express manicures, refreshments and raffles. Cardiac Nurse Practitioner Mary Hutchison presented the new blood pressure guidelines.
“The new guidelines came out in 2017. Tonight’s focus is on the new JNC guidelines. That stands for Joint National Commission,” said Hutchison. “It’s important to know these for vascular health. Hypertension leads to so many other diseases and I don't think it’s the disease at hand that is the issue, but more so what those diseases cause in regards to disability. It’s important for us to talk about hypertension and that is the focus for tonight.”
Hypertension is broken down into three categories- primary, secondary and isolated systolic hypertension, or HTN. Primary HTN has no clear cause, but can be linked to genetics or a poor diet. Secondary HTN can be caused by alcohol abuse, pregnancy, sleep apnea or thyroid problems. Isolated systolic HTN is caused by artery stiffness.
“After the age of sixty, blood vessels get stiffer and that’s what we need to watch out for. Keep your stress low, stop smoking, and exercise. Minimal changes can make a big difference,” said Hutchison.
The next Healthy Night Out with the Girls event will be in June. It will be a great opportunity to get women together for a healthy cause. For more information, visit http://www.methodisthospitals.org.