Dublin residents encouraged to detect ‘hidden dangers’ of high blood pressure

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Dublin Residents Encouraged to Detect 'Hidden Danger' of High Blood Pressure, Concept art for illustrative purpose, tags: campaign pressure - Monok

People in Dublin are being urged by a new campaign to check their blood pressure in order to prevent a “silent killer.”

A crucial tool in identifying high blood pressure, which can cause heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney failure, and dementia, is the three-minute checks with general practitioners or neighbourhood pharmacies.

According to Janis Morrissey, Director of Health Promotion at the Irish Heart Foundation:

What you don’t know could kill you as this condition, in the vast majority of cases, has no symptoms

Janis Morrissey

This May Measurement Month, the national charity is promoting the “Before Damage is Done” campaign to get adults checked, especially those over 50. Furthermore, in honour of May 17, World Hypertension Day, people in Dublin are urged to visit their general practitioner or neighbourhood pharmacy during the month of May.

Before Damage is Done campaign

Blood pressure is a gauge of how well the heart circulates blood throughout the body. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can be controlled with medication and lifestyle modifications. The campaign aims to inform people who might be unaware that they have high blood pressure, as the risk rises with age.

According to the most recent CSO annual data, heart disease and stroke claimed 9,652 lives in 2022. A blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 is considered normal, and anything over 90 is considered high.

Every five years, people over 30 should have a checkup. A general practitioner (GP) can determine the overall risk level and may suggest more frequent checks.

Ms. Morrissey continued:

There could be a history of hypertension in your family so a GP will look at cholesterol, weight and lifestyle factors to assess your cardiac health

Janis Morrissey

In addition to prescribed medication, lifestyle modifications like eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, giving up smoking, and consuming less alcohol are also essential for managing hypertension.

If patients experience incapacitating side effects, they should consult a physician about adjusting their medication or reducing their dosage.

The Irish Heart Foundation is urging people in Dublin to have their blood pressure checked “Before Damage is Done,” in collaboration with Medicare LifeSense.

Additionally, Medicare LifeSense will contribute a portion of its Medicare LifeSense blood pressure monitor sales, with the funds supporting the Irish Heart Foundation’s important mission.

Mark Fleming of Medicare LifeSense said:

We are delighted to partner with the Irish Heart Foundation to encourage people to get their blood pressure checked

Mark Fleming

Many of us are unaware that hypertension typically exhibits no symptoms, so it is imperative that they take a short time—just a few minutes—to have their blood pressure checked by a doctor or pharmacy.

“The Irish College of General Practitioners supports this campaign to raise awareness about blood pressure and encourage people to attend their GP practice for a cardiovascular review,” stated Dr David McConaghy, ICGP/HSE Integrated Care Lead for Prevention.

Furthermore, Sinead McCool, acting head of professional services at the organization stated:

The Irish Pharmacy Union fully supports this initiative and we continue to encourage people to get their blood pressure checked in their local pharmacy before damage is done.

Sinead McCool

The Irish Heart Foundation’s campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of detecting and managing high blood pressure to improve overall health outcomes for residents of Dublin and beyond.

By embracing a preventative lifestyle that includes making necessary dietary changes, increasing physical activity levels, quitting smoking, moderating alcohol consumption, and undergoing routine blood pressure screenings, individuals can effectively reduce their risk of developing hypertension and the associated health issues.

Adopting a preventative mindset is essential for maintaining optimal heart health, as the Irish Heart Foundation encourages all individuals, regardless of age or current condition, to be proactive in identifying and managing potential high blood pressure issues.

Timely recognition and treatment of high blood pressure can significantly mitigate potential health complications and contribute to an enhanced lifestyle for individuals who receive the diagnosis.

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