In 2008, three out of every 10 deaths in Hawaii was caused by cardiovascular disease, which adds up to almost 3,000 people each year, and more than 18,000 hospitalizations — which accounts for about 22 percent of all Hawaii hospital costs, according to a spokesman for the state Department of Health.
Cardiovascular disease refers to a variety of diseases and conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. High blood pressure is the number-one risk factor for stroke.
In addition to stroke, high blood pressure also contributes to heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure and atherosclerosis. The only way to tell if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.
The following Public Health Nursing Offices can be called for an appointment: Hilo State Building: 974-6025; Naalehu Health Center: 939-2400; Waimea Health Center: 877-8116; Kona Health Center: 322-1500.
Or, stop by one of these Big Island fire stations and get a blood pressure check during business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Central Fire Station in Hilo, and stations in Waiakea, Keaukaha, Kawailani, Kaumana, Keaau, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Pahoa, Laupahoehoe, Honokaa, Waimea, Waikoloa, South Kohala Fire Station (Mauna Lani), North Kohala, Makalei, Kailua, Keauhou, Captain Cook, HOVE, Naalehu, Pahala and Volcano Village.