Famous Kiwis Supporting Healthy Blood Pressure

TV star Miriama Kamo and comedian Mike King are using their experiences with stroke to help save people from “the silent killer”.

The popular pair’s encouraging everyone to get a free blood pressure check on Saturday October 1 as part of the Big NZ Blood Pressure Check.

Miriama, well-known for her work on TVNZ’s One News, Sunday and Kiwi Living, says she knows about stroke from her family – her grand-mother had a stroke when Miriama was 10.

“I’m absolutely happy to help, my Dad has had a heap of TIA’s,” she says. “And I had blood pressure issues during my pregnancy.”

A TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) or ‘warning-stroke’ is the same as a stroke but the symptoms don’t last as long - it’s a sign there’s a high risk of a more serious stroke.

Mike, who’s now heavily involved in education and support around mental wellbeing, is a stroke survivor himself, after experiencing one in 2007.

“I’m always keen to help spread the word about stroke,” he says.

Both are working with the Stroke Foundation to raise awareness of the importance of regular blood pressure checks to prevent stroke.

The Big NZ Blood Pressure Check is a chance for all New Zealanders to get their blood pressure checked quickly, painlessly and for free at almost 200 venues around the country.

Last year, around 20,300 people had their blood pressure taken at our sites. In a survey taken afterwards, 53% of those surveyed said they’d made changes to control their blood pressure, including exercising more and improving their diet.

Any measures taken to reduce the risk could be a life-saver – hypertension or very high blood pressure is known as “the silent killer” for good reason.

High blood pressure puts too much strain on the blood vessels in your body. Over time, this strain can damage your blood vessels, making them more likely to block or burst.

“The more people who know to get this simple check, the more lives we can save,” said Stroke Foundation CEO Mark Vivian. “You can have high blood pressure and know nothing about it – the only way to know is to get it checked.”

Hundreds of volunteers from St John, Wellington Free Ambulance and Rotary will help people get tested at sites around the country, most notably New World and Pak’n Save supermarkets.

The Stroke Foundation is asking all Kiwis to get a quick, painless blood pressure test - it could save your life.

  • The Stroke Foundation is grateful to New World, Pak’n Save, St John, Wellington Free Ambulance and Rotary for their help and support

Simon Bradwell

Communications Manager