Novartis Pharmaceutical has launched “Blood Pressure Downshift,” a free educational program tailored for professional drivers to help them reach their blood pressure goals. The program was established in response to recent federal government regulations requiring professional drivers to have blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or below, instead of the 160/90 mm Hg previously required to maintain their CDL.
Professional drivers appear to be at greater risk for hypertension and the ensuing cardiovascular complications than those in other occupations, according to Novartis. Each year, 75 percent of driver deaths are attributed to high blood pressure and heart-related diseases. Almost 40 percent of CMV drivers who have worked for more than 20 years have hypertension, but only a third of these individuals know they have it and receive adequate treatment, Novartis says.
Drivers who participate in the program will receive four mailings during the year containing support resources to help them manage their blood pressure, both on and off the road. The mailings will include:
Drivers can enroll in the program by going to www.drivershealth.com.