One In Three People At Higher Risk Of Stroke

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18th May 2009, 07:01am - Views: 726

Know Your Numbers 18-24 May 2009

One in Three People at Higher Risk of Stroke

One in three Australians over 25 is affected by high blood pressure, placing them at significantly greater risk of having a stroke.
Every 10 minutes a stroke occurs in Australia with 60,000 expected to happen this year alone. It is the country's second biggest killer and a leading cause of disability.

The National Stroke Foundation is urging Victorians to reduce their risk when it launches the Know your numbers blood pressure awareness program on 18 May.

For one week more than 180 pressure stations will offer free blood pressure checks with each station aiming to check at least 100 people.

"High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because there may be no symptoms," said Dr Erin Lalor, Chief Executive Officer of the National Stroke Foundation. "The only way to know your blood pressure is to have it checked."

Last year 10,000 Victorians had their blood pressure checked during Know your numbers.

Forty per cent of people who visited Know your numbers pressure stations in 2008 had high blood pressure readings (>140/90mmHg). Only one in five had normal blood pressure.

More than half of all Know your numbers 2008 participants were unsure or did not know their blood pressure numbers, including over one third of people whose blood pressure reading was high.

According to the National Stroke Foundation these results reflect a general lack of awareness among Australians about high blood pressure being a risk factor for stroke.

The Foundation says Know your numbers will help to reduce the incidence of stroke by increasing awareness of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and other stroke risk factors.

The free blood pressure checks will be offered to Victorians in partnership with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Rotary International and community health centres.

In addition to learning their blood pressure numbers, people who visit a Know your number pressure station will also receive helpful information about preventing a stroke.

"Identifying high blood pressure plays an important role in reducing the incidence of stroke in our community," said Dipak Sanghvi, Victorian President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. "We are very pleased to offer this life saving program to Victorians."

Media contact:
Kellie Furey
03 9670 1000 or
0415 563 811

SOURCE: National Stroke Foundation

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