Public awareness needed to reduce hypertension

Participant had blood pressure checked.
Photo by CNP

High blood pressure is biggest risk factor for global health and can cause serious problems including stroke and heart attack.

Launched by International Society of Hypertension (ISH) in 2017, May Measurement Month aims to raise awareness around blood pressure by measuring people’s blood pressure and attaching the importance of preventing hypertension.

According to Dr. Barry McDonnell, May Measurement Month (MMM) lead for Wales, nearly one in every two people, who ever have hypertension don’t actually know that they have it. This is why ISH created this campaign that reached out different countries to adjust and identify the issue.

People walked together at Step out for stroke in Bridgend.
Photo by CNP

Undiagnosed hypertension means that there is an increasing risk of having a stroke and heart attack without people noticing it. Step for Stroke is a national campaign organised by Stroke Association. Last Sunday, stroke survivors, family members and supporters joined one of its events held in Brigend to address the awareness of stroke.

Maisie Griffiths, whose stroke was caused by a clot in her arm, said: ”Blood pressure is a silent killer. I had a stroke when I was sleeping and I was in the hospital for three months. Ever since I had a stroke, I bought a machine so that I can measure my blood pressure every morning. If it goes too high, I will go to the doctor.”

MMM aims to raise awareness to reduce hypertension.
Photo by CNP

According to May Measurement Month, individuals can reduce the risk of high blood pressure following these 10 guidelines:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Exercise for an average of 30 minutes a day
  • Eat plenty of  fruit and vegetables – daily
  • Cut down on salt consumption
  • Reduce fat and sugar intake
  • Don’t smoke tobacco
  • Reduce caffeine
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol – stick to daily recommendations
  • Add beetroot and beetroot juice to your diet
  • Avoid stress where possible and allow time for relaxation

In Wales, more than 40 partners take part in the campaign and offer free screenings throughout May this year.

Blood pressure check is fast and painless, and this simple measurement can offer valuable information that can save life and effectively prevent people from serious problems.

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