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

Third person charged in death of Surrey teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

Surrey Mountie won’t face charges for scooter scuffle

The Surrey-based IIO has decided not to forward the case to Crown counsel for review

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Pedestrian seriously injured in Surrey traffic crash

A 54-year-old man was hit by a car early Thursday evening while crossing Highway 10 at 152nd Street

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read