One third of people who had their blood pressure measured at the recent Holiday World Show in Belfast had to be referred to their GPs.
Local charity, Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke, measured 445 people’s blood pressure at January’s show, and found that one third had high readings. They were then advised to make an appointment with their doctor for further checks.
Fidelma Carter, Director of Public Health for the charity, said, “This is higher than the number of referrals we would normally make through our Well Checks, but the age profile of the people we met at the Holiday World Show was older than those who normally book our health checks.
“Blood pressure tends to get higher as you age. It is an inevitable part of the ageing process, which is why it is important to get it checked regularly, and take other actions to keep it under control like watching your weight, getting enough exercise, cutting back on salt or stopping smoking.
“If your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90, you may have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most preventable causes of heart disease and stroke. Blood moving round the body at a higher pressure can cause small tears and damage to the insides of the blood vessels. This can result in clots that may travel to the heart or brain and cause a heart attack or stroke.
“There are no physical warning signs so people need to get it checked. We were delighted that so many people at the Holiday World Show took the time to visit our stand for our free blood pressure checks. We will be at the Balmoral Show in May but we also offer full health checks at our Dublin Road Office in Belfast. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Or, if you are concerned about your blood pressure, please speak to your GP. It could save your life.”