Mission Pressure Down

Stroke Foundation is on a mission to save lives by getting as many Australians as possible to check their blood pressure this month as part of Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.

High blood pressure is the single largest risk factor for stroke, but it can be prevented or managed.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said more than 4.7 million Australians are living with high blood pressure, many unknowingly, putting themselves at serious and unnecessary risk of stroke.

“Today is World Hypertension Day (May 17), and it serves as a timely reminder of the importance of regular blood pressure checks” Ms McGowan said.

“You may think your health is fine but high blood pressure often has no immediate symptoms. Over time it puts extra stress on blood vessel walls. This can cause them to narrow or break down, increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease.

“The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of stroke.”

Stroke strikes the brain and can change lives in an instant. More than 27,400 people in Australia had a stroke for the first time in their lives in 2020. Stroke Foundation is committed to working with the community to reduce this figure.

Ms McGowan added: “We know thousands of people may have put a blood pressure check on the backburner during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions last year, but now is the time to take action.

“Research shows 48 percent of strokes could be prevented if high blood pressure alone was eliminated.”

Major contributors to high blood pressure include poor diet (especially high salt intake), being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption and insufficient physical activity. It can be managed with medication and by living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Community Pharmacy Network Blooms The Chemist is proud to partner with Stroke Foundation on Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check to encourage people to prioritise their health and reduce their risk of stroke.

Head of Pharmacy at Blooms The Chemist Eric Chan said even younger people in their 20s can be impacted by the adverse effects of having high blood pressure.

“We all know how important it is to maintain our health and wellness. Getting into the habit of having a regular blood pressure check could save your life,” Mr Chan said.

“I encourage all Australians to get involved in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check this May and complete a blood pressure check at your local pharmacy or with your GP (General Practitioner).”

The theme of World Hypertension Day is “measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer.”

Statistics

27,428 Australians had a stroke for the first time in their lives in 2020 (one stroke every 19 minutes).

445,087 people are living with the impact of stroke in the community.

More than 4.7 million Australians are living with high blood pressure.

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