What you don't know can kill you: When blood pressure becomes hypertension

Thursday, May 16, 2019 General News
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MARKHAM, ON, May 16, 2019 /CNW/ - Everyone has passed their pharmacy's blood pressure kiosk, but there's good reason to stop and take a seat. With 15 million Canadians at risk for or living with high blood pressure or hypertension, chances you may be at risk, too.

High blood pressure means there is too much pressure in the body's blood vessels. Similar to pumping too

much air into a tire or balloon, this force can be deadly, causing gradual damage to the brain, eyes, heart, and kidneys.

"Contrary to popular belief, you won't feel high blood pressure," says Angelique Berg, CEO at Hypertension Canada. "The only way to know, and relieve its damaging force, is to measure it, and measure it accurately."

Normal blood pressure measures 120/80 or below. Known as the silent killer, hypertension is the leading risk factor for diseases like congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney disease and is also linked to dementia.

A staggering 7.2 million Canadians have hypertension, blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg, and another 7.4 million have elevated blood pressure that will advance to hypertension without healthy behaviour changes. A few minutes at your pharmacy's blood pressure measurement kiosk can tell you just what kind of pressure you're under.

But how accurate are those kiosks? Because an accurate device can be the difference between a correct reading and a misdiagnosis in hypertension, Hypertension Canada lists devices with proven accuracy, with several kiosk models as well as home blood pressure devices, on their website at hypertension.ca.

"It's critical to use the right device and in the right way, so take the time to check before measuring or purchasing," says Berg.  "We make it easy to help Canadians find proven, accurate devices among the many others out there."

If your blood pressure is high, the good news is that control is in your hands. Incorporating small changes into your daily lifestyle, such as being physically active, eating a healthy, low-sodium diet, limiting alcohol intake, and living smoke-free will yield immense, long term benefits in blood pressure control and prevention of disease.

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

May 17 is World Hypertension Day and, throughout the month, pharmacies and clinics across Canada are holding blood pressure screening clinics to help Canadians measure their blood pressure accurately. Knowing your numbers is the critical first step in hypertension prevention and control -- so, what's your number?.

About Hypertension CanadaHypertension Canada is the nation's provider of clinical practice guidelines for hypertension. Powered by a professional network of the leading multidisciplinary experts in hypertension, Hypertension Canada is Canada's only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to the prevention and control of hypertension and its complications.

www.hypertension.ca / guidelines.hypertension.ca

About Hypertension MonthHypertension Canada carries out public awareness initiatives to mark Hypertension Month, in partnership with government bodies, health practitioners and partners. The theme for the 2019 campaign is "What's Your Number?" with the goal to raise awareness of the health risks associated with uncontrolled high blood pressure and the importance of accurate blood pressure measurement and monitoring. This years campaign is sponsored by LifeSource by Auto Control Medical.

About Auto Control MedicalAuto Control Medical is one of the premier distributors of hypertension, diabetes and respiratory products in Canada. Auto Control Medical has developed an extensive customer network in its more than 27 years of service, and distributes healthcare products through pharmacies, home care stores and other channels throughout Canada. The development of a strong focus on self-monitoring devices plays an important role in Auto Control Medical's success.

SOURCE Hypertension Canada



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