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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IN PHOTOS: Grand Forks prepares for high water

Volunteers and emergency crews were busy all around the city, reinforcing vulnerable low points

‘Not technically feasible’: Grand Forks volunteers stack sandbags to fill in damaged dike

Residents hoped governments would do emergency repairs, but learned Sunday that it was up to them

Boundary freshet 2020: At least 189 properties ordered to evacuate as of June 1

Real-time gauges on the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby rivers suggested Monday water near peak

Flood warning issued for Boundary as Kettle River expected to rise to 20-year return level

RDKB: This amounts to a high flood risk for low-lying properties in the region

SD 51 students are allowed to return to school this week – under very different rules

School on June 1 and June 2 was cancelled due to the local state of emergency

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Nelson counsellor works online with university students in central Asia during pandemic

Robin Higgins is home from her job in Tajikistan because of COVID-19

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Angel Flight takes flight from Creston after being grounded by COVID-19

Angel Flight is a volunteer-run organization which gives people flights to doctors appointments

Nature Conservancy takes in more lands near Canal Flats

Badgers, bears and birds to benefit from bolstering bunchgrass conservation in Rocky Mountain Trench

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read