Putting on the 'pressure' for Heart Week in Gympie
GYMPIE health organisations are urging the community to check their blood pressure this Heart Week.
Dr Peter Dobson, Board Chair for the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN said according to available data, the rates of high blood pressure was higher than the Queensland average across most of the PHN region.
"According to our Health Needs Assessment 2015-16 the proportion of adults (18+) who self-reported high blood pressure in Gympie was higher than the Queensland average,” Dr Dobson said.
"High blood pressure in Gympie was reported by 35.5 percent of adults compared to the Queensland average of 29 percent.”
Dr Dobson warned the longer people went without noticing high blood pressure, the more damage was done.
"If high blood pressure goes unnoticed, and unmanaged it causes significant damage to arteries and blood vessels over time,” he said. "The effect over time can lead to a greatly increased risk of experiencing a stroke or a heart attack.
Dr Dobson said there were few warning signs and most people at risk of high blood pressure would not experience any symptoms.
"Often high blood pressure has no symptoms and few warning signs. In some cases you may experience unusually strong headaches, chest pain, difficulty breathing and poor exercise tolerance.
"If you experience any of these symptoms it is important that you see your GP and seek an evaluation.
"The only way to know if you are at risk of high blood pressure is to arrange regular checks by your local health provider.
"High blood pressure is often easy to manage with some lifestyle modifications and in some cases medications may be required.
"There are several risk factors which are known to significantly contribute to high blood pressure. These are being overweight, not getting enough physical activity, stress, old age, smoking and family history.”
"The good news is that there are several well documented steps people can take to reduce their blood pressure and potentially save their life.
"These are losing weight, quitting smoking, reducing salt and fat intake and regular exercise.”
Heart Week is an important opportunity for people to contact their local GP and arrange to get their blood pressure checked.