A RECORD 56,193 Australians are now more aware of their stroke risk after taking part in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.
Victorian residents were among men and women of all ages to take advantage of the free blood pressure checks provided by Stroke Foundation in partnership with Priceline Pharmacy at sites throughout April. Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said alarmingly, one in three Victorians who completed a stroke risk assessment were urgently referred to their doctor for advice on how to lower their stroke risk and improve their health.
“Most of those who were referred on to their health professional had no idea that they were putting themselves at significant and often unnecessary risk of stroke,’’ Ms McGowan said. “High blood pressure is one of the more important risk factors for stroke, this quick health check may have saved their life.” Those tested found to be at high risk of stroke and urgently referred to their general practitioner (GP) included: Almost 1,500 Victorians; One in three participants overall; Four in 10 men and more than a quarter of all women; High proportion of those aged over 45 (stroke risk increases with age). Ms McGowan said Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check’s results highlighted the looming health burden hanging over Victoria and the nation. “We know there are increasing numbers of people in our community living with stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity,’’ Ms McGowan said.
“The good news is that most of these risk factors can be reduced by making simple lifestyle changes.
“Today 56,000 more Australians are aware of stroke and its risk factors; today more Australians were equipped with knowledge to take action to reduce their risk of stroke.
“Currently, stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men that prostate cancer. In just one month, thousands of lives were potentially saved. Imagine what would be achieved with a targeted national action plan to identify stroke risk and help people reduce their risk. We can do much more to prevent stroke this devastating disease.“