Irish Heart focuses on Stroke Prevention for over 40s

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Make time this September for a quick blood pressure check

This September, Irish Heart wants you to strike before stroke as it marks the beginning of a month-long awareness campaign supported by the HSE and focused, for the first time, on stroke prevention among men and women over 40.

Research shows that stroke can strike at any age as 2,000 working age people are now affected annually by the disease in Ireland.

This month, prevention is for you. 60% of over 45s in Ireland have high blood pressure which is a major risk for stroke – start with a check and find out what you can do to avoid stroke.

Medical Director of Irish Heart, Dr Angie Brown said: “Stroke is a serious medical emergency mostly associated with older age but the reality is that people of working age are now accounting for one in four of all strokes in Ireland and this is growing rapidly in spite of Ireland’s ageing population. Preventable risk factors such as high blood pressure and smoking are significant contributors, as well as unhealthy eating and a sedentary lifestyle.

“This September at Irish Heart we want to provoke a younger age group into action that prevention starts now. People in their 40’s often don’t understand their own level of risk nor would they think that a blood pressure check is relevant to them. Yet 60% of over 45s in Ireland have high blood pressure which is a major risk for stroke. In particular we’re talking to men because they account for almost three-quarters of strokes across the younger age categories and a blood pressure check is a useful indicator of risk.”

Janis Morrissey, Irish Heart Health Promotion Manager added: “Everyone knows the phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’ and most people agree with its logic. But in reality, when we’re young, even middle aged – stroke prevention seems like ‘it’s not for me’ – it’s for someone else. This September – prevention is for you. Don’t suffer from one of the 8 out of 10 strokes that are preventable. We all have a responsibility to those who love us – we have a responsibility to look after our health for them. This September, let’s strike before stroke – start with a blood pressure check and start getting to know your number. We’re here to help so don’t miss our stroke prevention tips on irishheart.ie”.

Fergal Fox, Acting General Manager, HSE, Health Promotion and Improvement DML said, “small changes in what we eat, drink and how we exercise can have a significant impact in reducing the risk of chronic illnesses such as Stroke. Encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyle behaviours is a key element of the work undertaken by HSE, Health Promotion & Improvement, under our plan to implement ‘Healthy Ireland’. We are delighted to support Irish Heart as we collectively work to create positive change in health and wellbeing. Positively, 8 out of 10 strokes are preventable through a heart-healthy lifestyle – small changes can make a huge difference.

Life begins at 40, don’t let stroke stop it – make time for a blood pressure check and be one of the 8 out of 10 strokes that are preventable.

For further information and support, visit www.irishheart.ie

For more information please contact:

Sarah Geraghty, sgeraghty@kennedyprandbrand.ie or call 01 476 2000 / 087 6525776

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