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Tuesday, 28 September, 1999, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Public ignorant on blood pressure
Blood pressure
High blood pressure is a killer
Ignorance about how to lower or prevent high blood pressure is putting lives at risk, according to a survey commissioned by the Stroke Association.

The research shows that although the overwhelming majority of people think blood pressure is something to be concerned about and to be controlled, many are unaware of how to do so.

Findings of the poll of nearly 2,000 people included:

  • Six out of ten were unaware that they can eat healthily to lower high blood pressure
  • Seven out of ten do not know that taking exercise can help
  • Only one in four recognise the health benefit of taking a break from stressful or hectic schedules
  • Just nine per cent were aware that there is medication available in more serious cases

The Stroke Association says that this low awareness of how to control blood pressure explains why relatively few adults ever take steps to try to lower hypertension.

Eoin Redahan, from the association, said: "High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke.

"Controlling it could prevent four out of every ten deaths from this devastating condition.

"We will have to work hard to increase knowledge of what people can do on a day-to-day basis to reduce the risks."

It is estimated that 10% of the population has high blood pressure.

Stroke is the biggest single cause of death and disability in the UK.

The Stroke Association launched Stroke Awareness Week on September 27.

The charity is aiming for 100,000 blood pressure checks at venues across England and Wales.

A spokesman said: "Every year in this country 100,000 people suffer a first stroke and four out of ten of the resultant deaths could so easily be avoided if people had their blood pressure checked."

See also:

21 May 99 | Medical notes
Heart disease factfile
02 Aug 99 | Health
Meditation lowers blood pressure
31 Aug 99 | Health
Friends 'lower blood pressure'
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