Controlling your blood pressure

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CHARITY chiefs have unveiled plans for an event in Hartlepool as they step up the fight against strokes.

The Stroke Association will be holding a Know Your Blood Pressure event at Asda in Hartlepool on Tuesday, May 15.

Blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for a stroke and it affects 39 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women.

Between 10am-4pm on May 15, people can find out more about the measures they can take to reduce their own risks.

Stroke Association spokesman Susan Orley said: “Thousands of people are completely unaware of their own blood pressure levels, and a lot of people we test are shocked to hear their blood pressure is high. It’s a quick, free and painless way to find out your own risk.

“We will be handing out information to raise awareness of the symptoms, causes and risk factors of stroke and referring those presenting with high blood pressure to their GPs.”

In more than 40 per cent of cases, a stroke can be prevented by controlling high blood pressure.

All it may need is regular exercise, healthy eating, giving up smoking and avoiding excessive drinking. Campaigners say that, if everyone ate their five fruit and vegetables a day, the number of cases of a stroke in the UK could be reduced by a quarter.

For more information about local Stroke Awareness Events, visit www.stroke.org.uk/kybp.

The Hartlepool Mail has teamed up with the Stroke Association to raise awareness and have done it during Action on Stroke Month which aims to get people talking about the problem.

The month will also get people to challenge the perception that a stroke is an inevitable part of old age and “just one of those things”.

Each year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. That’s one person every five minutes.

And latest figures from the Hartlepool area show around 1,700 people a year suffer from a stroke in Hartlepool.

For more information, contact the stroke helpline on 0303 3033 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk.