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

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

PLACE NAMES: Grand Forks neighbourhoods, Part 1

Manlys and Ruckles key to Grand Forks townsite

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Grand Forks seniors society finds new home, more members after year apart

The seniors centre is aiming to open at the old Hardy View Lodge on Aug. 1

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Most Read