Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and is a leading cause of disability in Australia. It kills more women than breast cancer, and more men than prostate cancer. The Stroke Foundation website reports that, in 2017, there will be more than 55,000 new and recurrent strokes – that is 1000 strokes every week or one stroke every 10 minutes.
The good news is that more than 80% of strokes can be prevented, and keeping an eye on your blood pressure plays a big part in that.
Throughout May and June, people around Australia took part in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check, making it a huge success.
During the campaign a record 63,211 checks were delivered by Stroke Foundation in partnership with Priceline Pharmacy across the country. The campaign far exceeded last year’s tally of 56,000 health checks.
Disturbingly, one in three participants was found to have high blood pressure, which is a key risk factor for stroke. The results came as a wake-up call to many, as high blood pressure often has no symptoms. Those found to have high blood pressure and an increased stroke risk were referred onto their doctor for advice on lowering their blood pressure, reducing their risk of stroke and improving their overall
There are many things we can all do to help protect ourselves from stroke, like managing our blood pressure, getting more active, maintaining a healthy diet, stopping smoking and reducing our alcohol consumption. Sharon McGowan, Chief Executive Officer of the Stroke Foundation, is grateful for the support the Stroke Foundation receives around the country. “Thanks to our incredible supporters,
more Australians are aware of their stroke risk than ever before. But the work doesn’t stop here – it is our mission to prevent, treat and beat stroke. With your help, the Stroke Foundation can continue to run free community health checks to identify Australians at risk of stroke and save lives.
“If we can reduce high blood pressure we will have a direct and lasting impact on the rate of stroke in this country,” said Ms McGowan.
It is important to know your blood pressure numbers, so if you haven’t had your blood pressure tested lately, make a time to see your doctor for a quick check.
The Stroke Foundation recommends the F.A.S.T. test as an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke. Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:
• Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
• Arms Can they lift both arms?
• Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
• Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.
Emergency medical treatment soon after symptoms begin improves the chance of survival and successful rehabilitation. For more information, talk to your doctor, or visit www.strokefoundation.org.au