Under pressure? Don’t be another victim of stroke - get tested

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Two big national charities are hosting blood pressure testing events across the region to mark 10 years of working together on stroke prevention.

Events organised by the Stroke Association and Rotary International are taking place this weekend, including testing in Aylesbury, Wendover and Thame (see panel above left for locations and times).

High blood pressure continues to be the single biggest risk factor for stroke and is the cause of half of all strokes.

However it can be controlled through diet and medication.

The association’s Know Your Blood Pressure campaign has long been supported by Rotarians.

These events raise awareness of the link between high blood pressure and stroke by offering free blood pressure checks and providing stroke information and advice to the public.

Over the years the organisations have taken the blood pressures of more than 200,000 people in the UK.

Around 25,000 people were found to have high blood pressure and about 6,500 were referred to their GP for urgent investigation.

Ruth Dunkin of the association said: “High blood pressure affects 16 million people in the UK, yet it has no symptoms, so unfortunately many people are completely unaware that they have it.

“In many cases high blood pressure can be controlled by making healthy lifestyle changes or taking medication. Getting your blood pressure checked regularly is therefore absolutely essential in order to keep your stroke risk down.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our tenth anniversary with RIBI and look forward to many more years of working together to prevent strokes.”

Adults are encouraged to get their blood pressure checked regularly and if the reading is above 140/90 they should speak to their GP.

Simple measures like eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat and salt, exercising regularly and giving up smoking can all help to help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

During April and May the Stroke Association and RIBI will be hosting these events to events mark national Know Your Blood Pressure Day tomorrow (Saturday).

The charity will also be offering blood pressure checks at community events taking place throughout the year.

To find your nearest blood pressure event you can visit www.stroke.org.uk/kybp.

A stroke is a brain attack, which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain.

> Around 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over one million people in UK living with the effects of stroke.

> The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at www.stroke.org.uk