Blood pressure checks a real life-saver

TASMANIANS received a life-saving wake up call about the serious risk of stroke when they took part in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.

Nearly one in three Tasmanians tested during the annual campaign, which reached halfway point in April, were urgently referred onto their doctor for advice on how to lower their stroke risk and improve their health.

Stroke Foundation Tasmanian manager Cathy Craw said an alarming number of people had been identified with high blood pressure, most of who had no idea they were at risk prior to the check.

“Those that have been referred to their doctor include men and women aged from 30 to 80-years from across the community – stroke does not discriminate,” she said.

“Currently, one in six of us will have a stroke in our lifetime, but it doesn’t have to be that way as many strokes are preventable.

“These early results highlight that far too many of us remain unaware of the steps we can take to protect ourselves from unnecessary death and disability caused by stroke.”

The Stroke Foundation, in partnership with Priceline Pharmacy, delivered free blood pressure checks at Priceline Pharmacy stores across the state during April.

The campaign aimed to deliver 50,000 free blood pressure checks around the country and raise vital awareness of the risks associated with stroke.

Priceline Pharmacy health expert Dr John D’Arcy said Priceline was proud to partner with the Stoke Foundation as part of its ongoing mission to improve the health of Australians.

“By checking blood pressure and completing a simple questionnaire, health professionals were able to help identify people who were at risk of stroke and other chronic illnesses,” he said.

“High blood pressure is among the most important known risk factors for stroke, causing damage to blood vessels, which may eventually lead to a stroke.

“High blood pressure has no symptoms and the only way to know your blood pressure is to have it checked.”

Ms Craw said high blood pressure was known as a “silent killer” for a reason.

“Stroke is one of this country’s biggest killers and the leading cause of disability – it strikes down thousands of Tasmanians and Australians each year,” she said.

“There are simple things we can all do to reduce our risk of stroke and this includes managing your blood pressure, eating healthy, exercising, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.

“Don’t let a health crisis like a stroke be your first sign of high blood pressure.”

For more information, visit www.strokefoundation.com.au.

Caption: Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie having his blood pressure checked by Priceline Hobart pharmacist Nathan Whelan during the Stroke Foundation’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.

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