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The Big Squeeze






High Blood Pressure is the Silent Killer.

About 72 million Americans have high blood pressure.  That is 1 in 3 adults.

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, and it increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Another name for high blood pressure (HBP) is hypertension, and it means the pressure in your arteries is elevated. It is a “Silent Killer,” but it can be controlled.

What is The Big Squeeze?
The mission of The Big Squeeze is to increase awareness of hypertension (high blood pressure) and the need for screenings throughout the Sioux Falls community. The Big Squeeze project also seeks to work with healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive education and tools to manage blood pressure when it is above the normal range.

By participating in a screening during the month of April each year, area residents have the opportunity to learn if their blood pressure is in a normal range and, if it is not, to take action and see their health care provider. The next Big Squeeze event will take place in April 2018.

Read our success story published by Good & Healthy South Dakota.


Recap of the 2017 Big Squeeze*
* These results were compiled prior to the release of new Blood Pressure Guidelines

Do Residents of Sioux Falls Have High Blood Pressure?
The chart to the left shows results from The Big Squeeze since 2011.

The green column shows the percentage of residents who had normal blood pressure readings. The yellow column indicates those who were in the "at risk" category, and the red column shows those who were in the "high" category.

The Big Squeeze also started to track individuals with a "critically high" reading in 2013. Since that time, only about 1% of residents screened have had a reading in that category.

*Note for 2017: Numbers add up to 101% due to rounding.


Ongoing Pilot Project: Relationship Between BMI, Waist Circumference and Blood Pressure
Where we carry our weight can impact our health. Research has shown that having extra inches around the midsection can increase risk for high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease as well as risk for diabetes. The pattern of body fat distribution is recognized as an important predictor of the health risks of obesity. Android obesity, which is excess abdominal fat, provides an increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), coronary artery disease, and premature death compared with individuals who demonstrate Gynoid obesity, which is excess fat through the hips and thighs.

That is why some screening sites for this year's Big Squeeze event provided waist circumference screenings. Results from this pilot project seem to support the fact that above normal waist circumference measurements may put you at risk for high blood pressure.

If you are interested in checking your own waist circumference measurement, download and print these instructions.  Your target measurement should be: less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men.

How to Get Involved with The Big Squeeze

► Host a Big Squeeze Screening. We have a great toolkit for you to download and use. You can also create customized communication pieces to use at your site. 

► Volunteer to be a screener. If you are trained in taking blood pressures and would like to volunteer, contact us!

► You can also watch this important Train-the-Trainer video to learn more about The Big Squeeze and the importance of taking a proper blood pressure reading.

► Download our Big Squeeze Infographic PDF.



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Who is part of The Big Squeeze?
We are proud to partner with several community organizations in this important project.