This month, local residents are being urged to take action to protect themselves from stroke by taking part in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.
Celebrities, stroke survivors, Olympians and health professionals came together with Stroke Foundation and partner Priceline to officially launch Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check in Sydney today. The launch was broadcast on Channel 7’s The Morning Show.
During April, Stroke Foundation, in partnership with Priceline Pharmacy, is aiming to deliver 50,000 free blood pressure checks around the country and raise vital awareness of the risks associated with stroke.
Stroke advocate and media personality Chris Bath urged people to take advantage of the free checks and be aware of their stroke risk. Ms Bath witnessed first-hand stroke’s devastating impact after her father Don was struck down by the terrible disease.
“Like so many, I didn’t know much about stroke until I was directly impacted. I was stunned to find out how many strokes were preventable and that doing something as simple as managing your blood pressure could seriously reduce your risk of this debilitating disease,’’ Ms Bath said.
“Stroke is one of this country’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability – it strikes down thousands of Australians each year. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
“Apart from the usual healthy lifestyle choices we all should make, the best way to guard against stroke is by having simple, regular blood pressure checks.
“Let’s take the pressure down this month and raise awareness of the link between high blood pressure and stroke. Take advantage of a free, quick and simple check anytime this month at an Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check site near you,” she said.
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said there was one stroke in Australia every ten minutes, which is more than 50,000 new and recurrent strokes a year. Shockingly, many of these strokes may be prevented.
“There are simple things we can all do to reduce our risk of stroke – manage your blood pressure, eat healthy, exercise, don’t smoke and limit your alcohol consumption,’’ Ms McGowan said.
“High blood pressure is among the most important known risk factors for stroke, causing damage to blood vessel walls, which may eventually lead to a stroke.
“Around four million Australians are living with high blood pressure and many don’t know it. High blood pressure has no symptoms, the only way to know your blood pressure is to have it checked – high blood pressure is known as a ‘silent killer’ for a reason.”
By checking blood pressure and completing a simple questionnaire health professionals will be able to help identify people who may be at risk of stroke and other chronic illnesses. Those at risk will be referred to their doctor for advice on how to lower their risk and improve their health.
Ms McGowan said this was the third year the Stroke Foundation was delivering Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check and typically around a quarter of people checked were found to be at risk.
“Each year during Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check we discover an alarming number of people with high blood pressure who have no idea they are at risk of stroke.
“Stroke does not discriminate – it impacts men and women at any age. A blood pressure check is a simple, free and non-invasive way to discover your stroke risk and it might save your life.
“Join us in Australia’s Blood Pressure Check this April and help us fight this terrible disease.”
Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check officially launches today with free checks to be provided at hundreds of locations across Australia including Priceline Pharmacy stores, selected Westfield shopping centers and Know your Numbers sites in Queensland. To find your nearest site visit www.strokefoundation.com.au
What: Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check
The check takes 5-10 minutes and includes:
- A simple questionnaire
- Waist measurement (and in some cases other basic measurements)
- Blood pressure check
- You will then receive an interpretation of your results and be provided with lifestyle advice and/or referral to a doctor for a comprehensive assessment if required.
Some Priceline Pharmacy stores have also installed interactive health stations linked to an online health tracker. These machines conduct the same questionnaire and test in a fully automated fashion.
To find your nearest site visit www.strokefoundation.com.au