One simple step to prevent stroke

WHILE you are putting in play your New Year resolutions, don't forget to have your blood pressure checked.

Stroke Foundation clinical council chair Associate Professor Bruce Campbell said, "We hear so much at this time of year about New Year's resolutions - eat healthy, quit smoking, get more exercise, drink more water," Professor Campbell said.

"While these are all valid and well-intentioned goals, I am urging you to do one simple thing for your health in 2018 which could save your life - have your blood pressure checked."

After reading through the following fact list, adding this check to your health list should be an easy choice - 

  • High blood pressure is a key risk factor for stroke and one that can be managed.
  • Stroke is a devastating disease that will impact one in six of us.
  • There is one stroke every nine minutes in Australia.
  • Stroke attacks the human control centre - the brain - it happens in an instant and changes lives forever.
  • In 2018 it's estimated there will be more than 56,000 strokes across the country.
  • Stroke will kill more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer this year.

"But the good news is that it does not need to be this way," Professor Campbell said. "Up to 80 per cent of strokes are preventable, and research has shown the number of strokes would be practically cut in half (48 per cent) if high blood pressure alone was eliminated."

About 4.1 million Australians have high blood pressure, but many don't realise it. It doesn't have symptoms. The only way to know is by having it checked by your doctor or local pharmacist.

"Make having regular blood pressure checks a priority for 2018," Professor Campbell recommends.

"Include a blood pressure check in your next GP visit or trip to the shops. Be aware of your stroke risk and take steps to manage it. Do it for yourself and do it for your family."

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