By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) — Heart disease and stroke are the two leading causes of death for Americans, and high blood pressure can increase the risks for both illnesses.

That’s according to the Centers For Disease Control, making blood pressure checks a vital step for prevention.

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“Individuals that smoke are going to be at a higher risk,” said Dr. Lisa Knysz., Central City Integrated Health Chief Integration Officer.

“Individuals that have a family history of high blood pressure. Individuals that have a history of themselves or a family history of diabetes. Individuals that eat a diet high in salt and or fat, obesity and then a high alcohol intake.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with the American Heart Association to bring treatment, awareness and preventative care to minority communities in and around Detroit.

“They can become dizzy, it can affect their vision, if it goes untreated, what we start to see if that it can lead to further heart disease,” Knysz said.

“They can even have a stroke and additional other serious conditions.”

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Central City Integrated Health was awarded a $98,000 grant to treat hypertension through case management services and self-measured blood pressure devices.

“We teach them how to use it, the blood pressure cuffs we’re using it actually is going to store the different bp’s right in the cuff itself so when they come in we plug it into the computer and we’re able to download,” Knysz said.

The devices helps track data to create hypertension treatment programs for patients.

“So it’s really important that we want individuals to come in even if they don’t have insurance,” Knysz said.

“Here coming to Central City Integrated Health, whether you have insurance or no ability to pay, we’re not going to turn anyone away. We’re going to provide care and treatment to any and everyone that walks in through the door.”

For more information on the program and enrollment eligibility call 313-831-3160.

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