May 17 is World Hypertension Day (Ryan Adams/Flickr)

‘What’s your number?’: Advocates urge Canadians to check their blood pressure

May 17 is World Hypertension Day, marked to spread awareness on the risks of high blood pressure

When was the last time you stopped by a pharmacy kiosk and checked your blood pressure? With 15 million Canadians at risk of living with high blood pressure or hypertension, advocates say there’s good reason to stop and take a seat.

May 17 is World Hypertension Day, marked to spread awareness about the serious risks high blood pressure can have on a person’s health. This year, Hypertension Canada is hoping to spread the word on the importance of regular pressure checks.

Roughly 7.2 million people in the country suffer from hypertension, according to the organization, which means their blood pressure is above 140/90 mmHg, compared to the healthy average of 120/80 or below.

Similar to pumping too much air into a tire or balloon, when there is too much pressure in a person’s blood vessels, the force can be deadly and cause gradual damage to the brain, eyes, heart, and kidneys.

Hypertension Canada CEO Angelique Berg said in a news release Friday it’s not common to actually feel high blood pressure, contrary to popular belief.

READ MORE: B.C. woman shines spotlight on rare condition

READ MORE: Guarding against the ‘silent killer’

“The only way to know, and relieve its damaging force, is to measure it and measure it accurately,” she said.

When untreated, high blood pressure will advance to hypertension, which causes diseases including heart failure, stroke, kidney disease and is also linked to dementia.

Berg said the first step is stopping by a kiosk, often located at or near pharmacies.

“Knowing your numbers is critical to detecting high blood pressure so you can take steps to relieve it,” said Berg, “and managing your blood pressure can help us to live longer and healthier.”

She added that small changes such as being physically active, eating a low-sodium diet and limiting alcohol use can help get high blood pressure under control.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Horse carriage supporters to rally outside city hall

Owner of carriage company plans rally in response to Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

Victoria woman competing for role as Maxim cover model

Winning model gets featured spread in magazine, cash price

Songbirds return to their roost in the West Shore

Tips, such as keeping roaming cats from ruffling any feathers, can attract more birds

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Most Read