YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Doctors say that heart disease is becoming more of a problem for younger adults. So, Youngstown State University is starting a new awareness program to help reverse this trend.
“Unfortunately, heart disease doesn’t discriminate,” said Tracy Behnke, executive director of the American Heart Association.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and high blood pressure are becoming more of a problem for younger people. The reason is stress from a busy lifestyle.
“They don’t have time to exercise, they don’t eat the right foods. They eat fast food, which is high in salt and fat, and that trickles down into developing high blood pressure,” said Jennifer Rager, a registered nurse at Mercy Health.
According to doctors, having high blood pressure early in life can bring about more serious health problems earlier as well.
“It leads to younger people getting those problems earlier by not having great lifestyle choices while they’re young,” Rager said.
So, YSU is starting a new program to get out ahead of this worsening health trend.
The American Heart Association hopes that students come back every two weeks for a check-up to keep track of their blood pressure, so they can keep those lessons they’ve learned during the semester for the rest of their lives.
“Taking the small steps, whether it is adding an extra vegetable to your plate or taking a 10 minute walk, really does make a big impact,” Behnke said.
Along with Mercy Health, the university hopes that students in the semester-long program can learn to live a healthier lifestyle.
“We’re giving them the tools and the resources to able to do that and really help them to check, change and control their blood pressure numbers so they can live longer, healthier lives,” Behnke said.