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15 Sep 2017

Carlow men urged to get checked for high blood pressure

Men in Carlow are being urged to get checked for high blood pressure after a survey found that men have a higher chance of stroke and heart attack than women.

Irish Heart’s Mobile Health Unit service tested more than 11,000 people in the past year in 26 counties and found that two in five have high blood pressure.

Irish Heart health check manager Marese Damery said: "What this evaluation has highlighted is that men are more likely than women to have high blood pressure and even when advised to visit a GP, men are less likely to act on that advice.

"This is a continuing challenge for those of us who work in the health arena and especially when dealing with a silent risk factor like blood pressure, where a person can feel fine and not know that they have a problem.

“We would advise people over the age of 30 to have it checked at least once a year. You should also look at your family history because that can be one of the causes of high blood pressure.”

People already diagnosed with high blood pressure are being encouraged to visit the Mobile Health Unit service (which can be found through the Irish Heart website) after results showed 63% of people who were aware they had a history of high blood pressure still tested high.

Irish Heart recommends that people continue having regular checks with a doctor to ensure blood pressure is well managed. A normal blood pressure reading is 120 over 80 (120/80).

High blood pressure is estimated to affect almost one million people in Ireland and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Irish Heart aims to reduce premature deaths from heart disease and stroke by a quarter by 2025.

Its website says that every hour someone in Ireland suffers from a stroke and every day hundreds of people are diagnosed with heart disease. Up to 10,000 die each year, making heart disease and stroke the nation’s biggest killer.

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