Checking blood pressure essential

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Heart Research Australia has found that deaths from heart disease are two times as high in Australian women than breast cancer. This is because for many women, heart episodes occur without prior warning . About 40 per cent of heart attacks in women are fatal with the symptoms often different to those experienced by men .

While men experience well-known symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath or nausea, women may experience additional symptoms that can be dismissed as something less sinister, like back, neck or jaw pain, dizziness, fatigue, light headedness and sweating.

A survey conducted by the Heart Foundation Heart Watch found that despite over one third of Australian adults living with high blood pressure, just five per cent of adults nominate high blood pressure as a key risk factor for heart disease , showing the need for greater education and awareness of preventative measures.

High blood pressure may not have any obvious symptoms, but it forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body . This Heart Health Awareness Month, Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist, Claire Robertson, is encouraging more Australians to visit their local Blooms The Chemist pharmacy for a free blood pressure check-up.

“At Blooms The Chemist, we offer free, routine blood pressure checks and can provide advice on optimising your heart health. For Heart Health Awareness Month, we encourage members of the local community to get regular blood pressure checks, or visit their local GP. Statistics show that men aged 45 years and over and women aged 55 years and older have a greater risk than younger men and women,” Ms Robertson explained.

Blood pressure that remains high over a long time is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and, while regular screening is important, there are several lifestyle factors and hereditary factors to be aware of.

“The exact cause of hypertension is not always clear but some factors that may contribute to high blood pressure include family history, diet, excessive salt, alcohol intake, weight and your level of physical activity. At Blooms The Chemist, we can make recommendations for lifestyle changes that may support a better blood pressure reading,” adds Ms Robertson.

Every day, 110 Australians have a heart attack making it the leading cause of hospitalisation, claiming the lives of 19 people, on average, every day .

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