Free blood pressure checks are being provided by Boots Ireland pharmacists nationwide to mark May Measurement Month, a global initiative that aims to test 25 million people for high blood pressure.
Adults around the country are encouraged to get their blood pressure checked in order to identify and treat this condition as early as possible as high blood pressure, known as a ‘silent killer’, has no obvious symptoms.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition which affects approximately 30-40% of people in Ireland, and it is estimated that 62% of those aged over 45 have this condition, yet almost half of those affected (45%) are unaware that they have the condition. If left untreated, it can cause a significant number of cardiovascular conditions including stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.
A review of Boots’ 24 Hour Blood Pressure Service found that 64% of patients displayed some form of hypertension, with men showing a significantly higher prevalence than women; 74% compared to 56%4. Over a third (34%) of people in Ireland are unaware that they have high blood pressure compared to 29% of people in England, and 17% in Canada.
May Measurement Month, organised by the International Society of Hypertension and the World Hypertension League and supported by Boots Ireland, aims to test adults who have not had their blood pressure measured for at least a year. The results will be analysed and used to highlight the importance of knowing blood pressure measurements in order to take action and reduce the global burden of hypertension.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Dr Eamon Dolan, Stroke Physician, Connolly Hospital, and Chair of the Irish Heart Foundation’s Council on Blood Pressure said:
“Not enough people routinely get their blood pressure checked. The lack of awareness and high prevalence of hypertension are key issues in the fight against this silent killer. High blood pressure is the leading cardiovascular risk factor for attributable deaths and events such as stroke, yet it can be managed effectively once diagnosed in most people. We hope that by encouraging everyone to #checkyourpressure this month we can increase awareness of the risks associated with high blood pressure, and help people to start managing their condition more effectively.”
In addition to providing free blood pressure checks, Boots also offers a 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Service, also known as Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM), that helps to identify and treat factors which can lead to stroke and heart disease.
Susan O’Dwyer, Pharmacist, Boots Ireland said:
“At Boots, we are focused on improving the heart health of the nation. Through screening initiatives such as blood pressure checks, and the 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring service, we can help adults to know their blood pressure measurement and if diagnosed with high blood pressure, we are well placed to help patients manage this condition more effectively. One in five people will have a stroke in their lifetime, and with high blood pressure a major risk factor for stroke it is incredibly important that we help to reduce this risk by checking and monitoring blood pressure regularly and doing everything we can in the fight against hypertension.”
Free blood pressure checks are available in Boots Ireland pharmacies nationwide with Boots pharmacists on hand to provide heart health advice and support. For more information visit Boots.ie.