This year Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) celebrates 10 years of supporting stroke prevention across the UK. Over the last decade an estimated 200,000 people have had their blood pressure checked at Know Your Blood Pressure events hosted by Rotary with the Stroke Association. Over 30,000 people were tested in 2012; this year the hope is to reach even more, as 40% of strokes could be prevented if undiagnosed high blood pressure was identified and treated.
There are 152,000 strokes in the UK every year, which works out at one every five minutes. High blood pressure is the biggest risk factor contributing to stroke, but it has no symptoms and can affect people of any age. 16 million people in the UK have high blood pressure yet many of them don’t know it. If left untreated, it can increase your risk of having a stroke.
To mark the anniversary the Rotary Club of Horsham is hosting a free Know Your Blood Pressure event at Swan Walk on 20th April to raise awareness about the link between blood pressure and stroke. Measuring blood pressure is quick, simple and painless; it is done with an inflatable cuff put on your arm. The NHS recommends that all adults have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. Supporting the event and giving advice on the day will be Horsham Community Responders, the Phoenix Stroke Club and the Horsham District Wellbeing Hub.
Jon Barrick, Chief Executive of the Stroke Association said: “Stroke is one of the UK’s biggest killers and the leading cause of adult disability, but far too many people don’t understand it or ever think it’ll happen to them. Rotary have been a fantastic partner in hosting these events which play a vital role in preventing stroke and letting people know their level of risk so they can take action before it’s too late. Everyone should have their blood pressure tested at Know Your Blood Pressure events”
Caroline Gould, President of the Rotary Club of Horsham added, “The Know Your Blood Pressure events have helped prevent thousands of strokes over the last ten years. Learning your blood pressure is high can be worrying, but these events will give you advice on the simple steps you can take to keep it under control. Healthy eating, stopping smoking and taking regular exercise will all make a difference and reduce your risk.”
Facebook: Rotary Club of Horsham or Twitter @horshamrotaryuk
For more information on stroke, call the Stroke Association helpline on 0303 3033 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk/kybp