High blood pressure the ‘silent killer’
Two out of three adults in Ireland over the age of 45 have high blood pressure (hypertension) according to the Irish Heart Foundation.
Around 70% of adults with hypertension, who are on medication, have much higher levels than recommended. Each year nearly 10,000 people in Ireland die from cardiovascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack says Dr Angie Brown of the IHF.
Cardiovascular disease is three times more likely to occur in people with uncontrolled high blood pressure, compared to those who have controlled or healthy blood pressure.
Hypertension is a silent risk factor of cardiovascular disease as there are few physical symptoms. The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get it checked by a doctor, nurse or local pharmacy.
The IHF is encouraging people to get their blood pressure checked out on World Hypertension Day, today, May 17.
It is important from the age of 30 to get your blood pressure checked every five years even if is maintained at a healthy level. For people with borderline high blood pressure, the IHF recommends that they get it checked more frequently.
Once diagnosed, high blood pressure can be effectively treated and managed by lifestyle changes or in more severe cases a combination of medication and changes in lifestyle.
Ways to reduce or simply maintain your blood pressure at a healthy level include:
- · Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- · Lower salt intake
- · Consume less alcohol
- · Increase physical activity
- · Get blood pressure checked regularly
- · Never stop taking your prescribed medicine, without consulting your doctor first
This September, the Foundation will hit the road, travelling around Ireland offering free blood pressure checks for the public. For more details, see www.irishheart.ie
Visit our heart disease clinic for more information.
[Posted: Thu 17/05/2012]