The pressure is on to fight stroke

Today thousands of Australians are being urged to help protect themselves from stroke by taking part in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.

Today thousands of Australians are being urged to help protect themselves from stroke by taking part in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.

The National Stroke Foundation, in partnership with Chemmart Pharmacy, is once again taking the blood pressure of the nation, delivering free checks around the country and raising vital awareness of the risks associated with stroke.

More than four million Australians have high blood pressure putting them at serious risk of stroke and sadly most don’t even know it.

Stroke advocate and media personality Chris Bath urged people to be aware of their stroke risk. Ms Bath witnessed first-hand stroke’s devastating impact after her father Don was struck by this debilitating disease in 2009.

“I was stunned to find out how many strokes are preventable and how much more needs to be done so other Australians don’t end up like my Dad,’’ Ms Bath said.

“Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and leaves tens of thousands of Australians disabled. Apart from the usual healthy lifestyle choices we all should make, the best way to guard against stroke is having simple, regular, blood pressure checks.

“You can have a free, quick and simple check today at an Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check site near you – it might just save your life.”

National Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr Erin Lalor said the Foundation aimed to deliver a record 15,000 blood pressure checks – along with diabetes and cardiovascular risk checks – potentially saving thousands of lives in the process.

“One in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime; these people are you, your family, your friends, your colleagues,’’ Dr Lalor said.

“The brutal reality of stroke is that it will change your life in an instant. One day you could be busily going on with life working, caring for your family, then suddenly you are struck down by stroke and facing an ongoing disability that may limit your ability to walk, talk and even think.

“Join us in Australia’s Blood Pressure Check, find out more about stroke and your stroke risk. This fast and simple check may save your life.”

Blood pressure is one of the most important and modifiable risk factors for stroke. By checking blood pressure and completing a simple questionnaire health professionals will be able to help identify people who may be at risk of stroke and other chronic illnesses. Those at risk will be referred to their doctor for advice on how to lower their risk and improve their health.

Dr Lalor said in addition to high blood pressure, factors that may contribute to your risk of stroke include poor diet, physical inactivity, family history of stroke, smoking, high intake of alcohol, diabetes and heart disease. Age, sex and gender may also contribute to your risk.

Chemmart Pharmacist Carolyn Wynen said Chemmart Pharmacy was proud to be part of Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check to help Australians avoid a life-threatening stroke.

“As a healthcare professional I see the devastating effects that a stroke can have on people and their families. A simple blood pressure check may help people reduce their stroke risk,” Ms Wynen said.

“Here at Chemmart we want to help Australians to look after themselves better. We are delighted to join with the National Stroke Foundation to ensure as many people as possible get their blood pressure checked today.”

Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check is on today, with free checks to be provided at selected city sites and Chemmart Pharmacies nationally. To find your nearest site visit www.strokefoundation.com.au or www.chemmart.com.au

What: Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check

Free checks will be provided at selected city sites and Chemmart Pharmacies on the day. By checking blood pressure and completing a simple questionnaire, health professionals will be able to help identify people that may be at risk of stroke and related conditions. Those at risk will be referred to their doctor for advice on how to lower their risk and stay healthy.

When: Today  
Where: Blood Pressure Check Locations:

7.30am – 3.30pm: Sydney – Martin Place; Melbourne – Federation Square; Brisbane – Queen St Mall; Adelaide – Rundle Mall

7.00am – 3.00pm: Perth – Murray St Mall

10am – 4pm: Hobart – Elizabeth St Mall

Any Chemmart Pharmacy www.chemmart.com.au