Tuesday 5th November
Big Blood Pressure Check 2019 Results: One in Six with High Blood Pressure Reading
The Stroke Foundation’s Big Blood Pressure Check had a positive impact throughout October, having tested over 13,500 New
Zealanders for high blood pressure. However, figures show that over the last three years, those that were referred to a
GP for a high blood pressure reading has significantly increased. This year, over 16% (one in six) of those tested had a
high blood pressure reading (compared to 11% in 2016). This can be partly attributed to the Stroke Foundation’s strategy
to target more at risk communities.
Free blood pressure check testing sites were set up at 102 PAK’nSAVE and New World supermarkets on Saturday 5 October
and the Big Blood Pressure Check Van visited communities across the North Island. In addition, the Stroke Foundation
partnered with 129 Unichem and Life Pharmacies to offer free checks instore throughout October, resulting in a further
1,597 people getting tested.
Of the 12,000 tested by the Stroke Foundation volunteers, one in six had to be referred to a GP due to a high blood
pressure reading. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of stroke, so this information could have been
The Stroke Foundation’s Health Promotion Manager, Julia Rout explained, “high blood pressure doesn’t have any symptoms,
so having an annual check is incredibly important, much like a car warrant of fitness. A person with high blood pressure
is up to seven times more likely to have a stroke than someone with normal or low blood pressure, which is why the work
that we do is so important in reducing the devastation stroke can cause, especially for those communities most at risk.
Our focus for the coming year will be around building our engagement with these communities, so we can better equip them
with the tools to reduce their risk of stroke.”
High blood pressure is the number one modifiable risk factor for stroke. High blood pressure can be managed and
controlled which is why getting a regular check is important to reduce stroke and other health risks.
The Big Blood Pressure Check was launched 11 years ago to encourage people to get their blood pressure checked regularly
and to understand the association between high blood pressure and stroke. For the first time this year, the campaign was
extended to last the whole month of October, supporting more people to get their free check.
The Stroke Foundation encourages everyone over the age of 45 to have an annual blood pressure check. Getting a check is
a quick and simple step to help avoid a stroke.
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