High Blood Pressure is a silent killer – inform yourself today

By June Shannon Stroke News   |   18th May 2018

To mark World Hypertension Day we have put together a handy FAQ on high blood pressure

18 May 2018

Q. What is blood pressure?

A. Everyone has blood pressure it shows the amount of work your heart has to do to pump blood    around the body.

Q. What do the numbers on a measurement mean?

A. When you get your blood pressure checked you are told the two numbers. The higher number is the systolic pressure, this records the blood pressure is at its highest, as the heart muscle squeezes out blood from the heart. The second, lower number is the measurement of the heart relaxing, this is called the diastolic pressure.

Q. What is the ideal blood pressure measurement?

A. Ideally your blood pressure result should be around 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic) mmHg. You have high blood pressure if either your systolic blood pressure is 140 or higher, or your diastolic blood pressure is 90 or higher, after it has been measured several different times. If you have been told your blood pressure is 140 over 90 or higher (or 140 over 80 if you have diabetes) you should discuss this with your family doctor

Q. What causes high blood pressure?

A. There are several different causes of high blood pressure. In some families there is a genetic predisposition. A number of factors combine to increase the blood pressure-being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much salt and not eating enough fruit and vegetables and being sedentary may lead to an increase in blood pressure. As you grow older your blood pressure increases which is why it’s important to get your blood pressures checked regularly. Rarely endocrine diseases or other abnormalities of the kidneys and heart can use high blood pressure.

Q. What is the relationship between blood pressure and stroke?

A. The higher your blood pressure the greater your risk of stroke.

The higher your blood pressure the greater your risk of stroke

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Q. What happens when you have a stroke and what role does high blood pressure play in this?

A. Strokes are due to either a clot blocking an artery to the brain or a bleed (haemorrhage). High blood pressure increases the risk of both haemorrhagic stroke and ischaemic stroke it causes 70 per cent of all strokes. It also increases the risk of kidney failure, myocardial infarction, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and dementia.

Q. What is the best way to manage hypertension?

A. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and prescribed medications to manage it, it is very important that you take these regularly and follow your doctor’s advice and do not stop taking them without telling your doctor.  Coupled with medication it is also important to maintain a healthy weight, eat less salt and more fruit and vegetables. Be more active and drink less alcohol.

"It is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly."

Dr Angie Brown, Medical Director , Irish Heart Foundation

According to Dr Angie Brown, Medical Director of the Irish Heart Foundation, high blood pressure is called the silent killer as although occasionally people with high blood pressure may have a headache or feel flushed many people with high blood pressure have no symptoms.

“That is why it is so important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. If your blood pressure is high make sure you see your GP, modify your lifestyle and ensure you take your tables and continue to monitor your blood pressure and treatment if necessary. “

Keep an eye on our Mobile Health Unit schedule and avail of your FREE blood pressure test. All it takes is 10 minutes and it could save your life.

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high blood pressure. stroke hypertension mobile health unit

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