One in 10 Australians who participated in a national blood pressure check health program have been advised to seek further medical attention for possible high blood pressure.
Over 10,000 Australians participated in the health program coordinated by the National Heart Foundation and TerryWhite Chemmart during the month of October. More than 1,000 participants were advised to see their local GP after receiving high blood pressure readings above 140/90mmHg.
The health program, which offered free blood pressure checks at TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacies around the country, aimed to raise awareness of high blood pressure as a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
National Heart Foundation Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly AM said:
“While it is encouraging that so many Australians took the opportunity to get their blood pressure checked, we know that 2.7 million people with high blood pressure are not having their condition managed. Most concerning, 1.4 million Australians are taking medication, but their blood pressure is uncontrolled. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because there are no obvious signs or symptoms. That’s why it’s important to visit your doctor if you have any concerns.”
“Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to irreversible vascular damage, increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.”
TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist Krystel Tresillian said the high response rate of customers receiving blood pressure checks was a positive sign.
“We are pleased that so many people are taking an active interest in their health and wellbeing. Blood pressure checks are quick and convenient and take no longer than 10 minutes,” Ms Tresillian said. “This campaign allowed pharmacists to identify any potential issues during the blood pressure checks and refer them on to their GPs for additional monitoring if required.”