More than 1 in 3 blood pressure checks referred to GP

By June Shannon Heart News   |   3rd Oct 2018

More than 1,000 people received free blood pressure and pulse checks from the Irish Heart Foundation at the National Ploughing Championships 2018.

More than one in three people who availed of a free blood pressure check at the National Ploughing Championships this year were advised to contact their GP for follow up, indicating the high level of people at risk of hypertension in the community.

Overall, more than a thousand people availed of free pulse checks and over 500 had their blood pressure checked by the Irish Heart Foundation at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore last month.

Of the 1,012 people who received free blood pressure and pulse checks from Irish Heart Foundation nurses at the ploughing, 467 received a free pulse check and were taught how to check their own pulse in the Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib) marquee and a further 545 received free blood pressure and pulse checks as well as lifestyle advice, from Irish Heart Foundation nurses on the mobile health unit and in the Health and Safety Authority (HAS) marquee.

EUROSPAR Supermarket is sponsoring the Irish Heart Foundation’s mobile health unit for one year as part of its efforts to help people live healthier lives.

Of those who received a pulse check at the Atrial Fibrillation marquee, one in ten or 11 per cent were advised to see their GP for follow up for follow up for an irregular pulse, which can be a sign of Atrial Fibrillation.

Atrial Fibrillation is the most common form of arrhythmia or abnormal heart beat and one of the leading causes of stroke. It is a treatable condition and a simple pulse check can help detect it reducing a person’s risk of stroke.

More than one in three, or 36 per cent of people who received free blood pressure and pulse checks at the HSA marquee, were advised to contact their GP for follow up with a similar number, 37 per cent of those seen in the mobile health unit also referred to their GP.

“There were queues each day and many farmers come back to us each year to have their blood pressure checked,”

Marese Damery, Health Check Manager, Irish Heart Foundation

This year marked the Irish Heart Foundation’s tenth anniversary at the Ploughing Championships and every year its presence at the event goes from strength to strength.

Commenting on the 2018 figures, Marese Damery, Health Check Manager, Irish Heart Foundation said, “it was fantastic to see so many people coming forward to have their pulse and blood pressure checked, there were queues each day and many farmers come back to us each year to have their blood pressure checked.”

“High blood pressure which is a major cause of stroke and heart attack is one of the most prevalent risk factors in the population and one which once identified is very manageable, thereby reducing risk. A blood pressure check is a simple quick and non-invasive test that could prove life-saving.”

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