Getting regular blood pressure checks can be your best defence against stroke.
High blood pressure is the number one modifiable risk factor for stroke. It puts too much pressure and stress on the walls of blood vessels and increases the risk of both bleeds and blood clots. A person with high blood pressure is up to seven times more likely to have a stroke than someone with normal or low blood pressure.
One in five New Zealanders experience high blood pressure. Recent research estimates a third of these people don't know it as high blood pressure often has no symptoms.
The Stroke Foundation provides thousands of free blood pressure checks to New Zealanders across the country every year. Find out where you can get your check through one of our Blood Pressure Check Vans:
A blood pressure check is quick and painless.
What if I have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is serious but can be treated. Sometimes, lifestyle changes around a better diet or more exercise will help. Obviously cutting out tobacco products will benefit you, as will keeping your alcohol intake low. Your doctor can also help with medicine to address the issue.
What causes high blood pressure?
Blood pressure tends to rise as we get older and can run in families.
Common causes include:
- being overweight
- drinking too much alcohol
- not exercising
- eating a bad diet
- eating too much salt
Here's a table that will help you understand your blood pressure results. A diagnosis of high blood pressure requires more than one reading.
You can download the poster above here.
Listen to Mau Moananu's story and why he urges everyone to get their blood pressure checked regularly: