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One school of public health’s experience with an unexpected rate of hypertension among faculty, staff and students: An introspective observation

Heather Diaz, MPH, Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Nichol Hall, Loma Linda, CA 92350, 909 558-8729, HeathDiaz@netscape.net, Edward Fujimoto, DrPH, MPH, Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA 92354, and Lee S. Berk, DrPH, MPH, FACSM, Department of Health Promotion & Education and Department of Pathology and Human Anatomy, School of Public Health and School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Nichol Hall Room 1511, Loma Linda, CA 92350.

A major focus of schools of public health is the promotion of wellness and the education of chronic disease prevention. At the basic level, these schools educate the public on the importance of prevention, consequences of inappropriate health choices (morbidity and mortality), and navigate future directions for national health concerns to target. With these factual and philosophical perportments, to what degree do these institutions of higher learning put their teachings into practice for faculty, staff and students? As part of a recent study students at Loma Linda University School of Public Health assessed the accuracy of a blood pressure machine the CSI-6000 (Computerized Screening Incorporated). They examined the accuracy of readings from the machine to those of an experienced technician. The initial phase required taking ~100 blood pressure measurements from faculty, staff and students. The results, however, revealed an introspective observation. In total, participants displayed high blood pressure readings where approximately 24% (n=22/92) revealed hypertension (Stage I or Stage II) with approximately 50% in the age range of 20-30 years and 50% in 50-60 years. As a result of the enhanced stresses of higher education, in the 21st century, we believe our findings are not unique to this school but endemic to other public health school environments. This school like others has an exercise facility for its faculty, staff and students, however, we, suggest the need for a “comprehensive wellness program” is warranted for these otherwise healthy populations to appropriately address hypertension risk and prevention within schools of public health.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation the participants will be able to

Keywords: Wellness, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Worksite Health Promotion

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA