By Juliano Oliveira
Australians overlooking a simple blood pressure test are being urged by the Stroke Foundation to avoid unnecessary consequences in their health future.
Hypertension is a key risk factor for stroke and other diseases, according to Stroke Foundation Clinical Council Chair Professor Bruce Campbell.
“This year, rather than jumping straight into long-term health goals like getting fit or losing a few kilos, start with a blood pressure check at your doctor or pharmacy”, Professor Campbell said.
“It’s like checking your car is in good working order before a big road trip,” he said.
A blood pressure check is easy, painless and potentially life-saving, but is too often overlooked: more than 4.7 million Australians are hypertense, and most don’t even know they have it.
Professor Campbell said the only way to know if you have high blood pressure was to have it checked regularly.
“High blood pressure has no immediate symptoms. Yet over time, it puts extra stress on blood vessel walls. This can cause them to narrow or break down, eventually leading to a stroke,” Prof Campbell said.
“High blood pressure is also a risk for other cardiovascular conditions and increases the risk of death from the coronavirus (COVID-19).”
The reduction of salt intake and an active lifestyle can reduce the impact of high blood pressure in patients of all ages.
“Research has shown the number of strokes would be almost cut in half (48% reduction) if high blood pressure alone was eliminated,” Professor Campbell said.
“Give yourself the best chance possible to live a healthy life in 2021 and beyond. Learn about your risk and continue to monitor your blood pressure regularly.”