LETTER: Thanks supporters of Biggest Blood Pressure Check

THANK you to all our supporters who took part in Australia's Biggest Blood Pressure Check.  

On behalf of the Stroke Foundation I would like to thank the thousands of Australians who helped take the pressure down this April by participating in Australia's Biggest Blood Pressure Check.  

During April, the Stroke Foundation, in partnership with Priceline Pharmacy, aimed to deliver 50,000 free blood pressure checks around the country and raise vital awareness of the risks associated with stroke. With your support we exceeded this total, delivering more than 56,000 checks across the country.  

Australia's Biggest Blood Pressure Check is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about stroke and how they can reduce their own risk.

I am confident that there are thousands of people in the community who are more informed and can take control of their health after the campaign.

In fact, one in three of those who completed the stroke risk rating were found to be at urgent high risk and referred to their doctor for advice how to lower their blood pressure, reduce their risk of stroke and improve their health.  

With Australia's Biggest Blood Pressure Check coming to a close it is vital we remember strokes don't just happen one month of the year. Every ten minutes an Australian has a stroke.

Every ten minutes someone's life changes forever.  

However, there are many things we can all do to help protect ourselves, like being aware of and managing our blood pressure, getting more active, maintaining a healthy diet, stopping smoking, reducing our alcohol consumption.  

Stroke is scarily common in Australia - it is still a major killer and a leading cause of adult disability in the community. Last year alone, an estimated 50,000 strokes occurred in the Australian community.

But it does not have to be this away.   Thanks to our incredible supporters more Australians are aware of their stroke risk than ever before. But our work doesn't stop here - it is our mission to ensure everyone understands what a stroke is and what they can do to avoid having one.  

As we head towards the federal election, our major parties have a real opportunity to join with us and help us to beat stroke.  

Take this opportunity to ask your local candidates what they will do for stroke. Join with us to call on party leaders to set aside political difference and commit to national plan to stop stroke, save lives and end suffering.  

It will take the combined efforts of the community, health professionals and government to achieve this mission. I know together we can fight stroke and win.

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