The unknown pressure affecting 1.28 billion people worldwide
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading chronic health conditions in Australia, responsible for the hospitalisation of more than 600,000 people each year.
To help Australians better understand the importance of knowing what a healthy blood pressure reading continues to be a focus on World Hypertension Day (17 May).
High blood pressure is a common condition that affects an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30 – 79 worldwide. However, an estimated 46 percent of adults are unaware they suffer from the condition and only one in five adults with hypertension have their blood pressure controlled.
The year’s theme for World Hypertension Day is ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It and Live Longer’, with a focus on combatting low awareness rates, particularly in low to middle-income areas, and greater education on accurate blood pressure measurement methods.
Leading community pharmacy network, Blooms The Chemist, is actively supporting patients in their communities, ensuring people understand the importance of blood pressure monitoring and control, and is encouraging them to visit their local pharmacy for a blood pressure test.
“This World Hypertension Day we’re raising awareness on the importance of keeping blood pressure in check and explaining how you can actively control and manage it,” says Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist-owner Andria Aird.
“As hypertension may cause no symptoms or symptoms like headaches, dizziness and fatigue, which can often be dismissed as something less sinister, we’re encouraging people in our communities to spare five to ten minutes in their day to pop in for a blood pressure evaluation,” she says.
“It’s a simple test conducted by the Pharmacist or a qualified nurse and takes minutes to complete.”
Importantly, Ms Aird is passionate about addressing misconceptions that high blood pressure rarely affects women, who represent nearly half of all adults suffering high blood pressure.
“Unfortunately, many of the common symptoms experienced by women who may have hypertension are dismissed as something less concerning, such as assuming it’s a side effect of hormonal imbalances during pregnancy, menopause and post-menopause,” she says.
“Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to a range of serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage and pregnancy complications.
“Whilst there are several prevention and management tools to support healthier blood pressure, we do encourage adults of all ages to pop into their local Blooms The Chemist for advice and, if they have concerns, get a reading. It could in some cases help prevent health issues later,” explains Ms Aird.
“Unfortunately, people are often unaware of what a normal blood pressure reading is, which in most adults should be between 120/80 and 140/90 mmHg. If a reading is out of this range, we can provide timely advice on changes in lifestyle habits and discuss current medication that may be causing high blood pressure. However, if we have concerns, we will recommend to a patient that they visit their GP.”
Blooms The Chemist offers free blood pressure evaluation tests as a core health service in across their network of pharmacies.