It's Stroke Week

Stroke Week is underway - and this year, the focus in on blood pressure.

There are two main events in the week.

On Tuesday, we launch our Big Blood Pressure Van - a new tool to detect high blood pressure and prevent strokes.

Then on Saturday, it's our annual Big Blood Pressure Check. You can read our media release below:

 High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke – but many Kiwis don’t know they have it.

So as part of Stroke Week (1-6 October) the Stroke Foundation is giving thousands of people the chance to get their blood pressure checked – for free.

It’s called the Big Blood Pressure Check.

We want all New Zealanders to come along to one of our testing stations throughout the country on Saturday, October 6.

The painless test only takes a minute – but could make a lifetime of difference.

Each year, around 16,000 people get their blood pressure checked.

Of those tested last year, one in eleven were referred to their GP because of a high blood pressure reading. In a follow up survey of participants, 51% said they were now taking action to better control their blood pressure.

That action could save their lives.

“High blood pressure is sometimes called the ‘silent killer’ for good reason,” Stroke Foundation CEO Mark Vivian says.

In fact, 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.”

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Big Blood Pressure Check, this year the Stroke Foundation, with support from Ryman Healthcare, is launching the Big Blood Pressure Van – a mobile blood pressure testing station that will travel the country, taking free tests to communities everywhere.

“Ryman’s support will mean even more Kiwis will get a potentially life-saving blood pressure check,” Mark Vivian says.

So be in the know – keep it low!

There’s a full list of testing sites on our website at:

·         The Stroke Foundation is grateful to New World, Pak’N Save, St John, Wellington Free Ambulance, Rotary and stroke clubs for their help and support