Launceston Mayor urges locals to have a free health check

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten has encouraged local residents to follow his lead and have a free health check at Launceston Library.

Mayor van Zetten rolled up his sleeve at the launch of the Stroke Foundation and SiSU Health Project today to measure his blood pressure, heart rate, type 2 diabetes risk, body mass index and overall stroke risk on a self-service SiSU Digital Health Station.

Mayor van Zetten said the machine was fast, non-invasive and easy to operate.

“Too many of us take our health for granted. We need to make regular health checks a priority to reduce our stroke risk,” Mayor van Zetten said.

“Stroke is a devastating disease that can change lives in an instant, yet it is largely preventable.

“I urge the people of Launceston to embrace this opportunity to have a free health check at one of three locations. When you understand your stroke risk, you can take steps to reduce it, where necessary.”

Tasmania has the highest incidence of stroke per capita in Australia. There will be more than 290 strokes in the Bass electorate this year alone, and there are more than 2450 stroke survivors living in the local community.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said the greatest risk factor for stroke was high blood pressure.

“The good news is high blood pressure can be managed. However, it has no immediate symptoms, so you need a health check to determine if it is an issue,” Ms McGowan said.

“Prevention is the key to easing the burden of stroke on the community.

“Research tells us that more than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by managing blood pressure and cholesterol and living a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and only drinking alcohol in moderation.”

The SiSU Digital Health Stations will be available to the public at three locations:

Launceston Library – Wednesday September 11 – Tuesday October 8.

University of Tasmania, Newnham campus – Tuesday October 8 – Monday October 28.

Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre – Monday October 28 – Monday November 26.

Participants receive information on their stroke risk, as well as information about stroke, relevant lifestyle advice, or a referral to a doctor for a comprehensive assessment, if required.

This project has been made available through the Health Tasmania Community Innovations Grant, a Tasmanian Government and Community Partnership.

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