The Heart Foundation’s Go Red for Women campaign raises the awareness of heart disease being the single biggest killer of Australian women and that women are three times more likely to die from heart disease than from breast cancer.

The risk factors for heart disease are having a family history, smoking, carrying too much weight, being inactive, eating a diet full of saturated fat and salt and having high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

You’d know if you had high blood pressure wouldn’t you? Actually, you probably wouldn’t. There are generally no signs or symptoms yet leaving it unchecked can lead to serious health problems, such as heart attack or stroke.

Don’t let it happen to you.

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means your blood is pumping at a higher pressure than normal through your blood vessels. This forces your heart to work harder to pump blood to your vital organs. High blood pressure can lead to other health problems, including heart disease.

In Australia, nearly 30% of women aged 30-65 have high blood pressure, yet most don’t know that it’s a risk factor for heart disease that must be managed.

No matter how you feel – good, bad or indifferent – the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to book an appointment with your GP. Ask for a heart health check where you will be asked about your family history, smoking status, diet, you might be weighed and have your waist circumference measured and you should also be sent for blood tests to check your cholesterol and sugar levels. All of this can be done in a standard appointment.

There is no firm rule about what defines high blood pressure. For most people, the lower the blood pressure the better, however the following figures are a useful guide.

The first number is your systolic blood pressure and the number after the forward slash is your diastolic blood pressure:

Normal blood pressure – Generally less than 120/80 mmHg

Normal to high blood pressure – Between 120/80 and 140/90 mmHg

High blood pressure – 140/90 mmHg or higher. If your blood pressure is 180/110 mmHg or higher, you have very high bloody pressure

There are a lot of things that you can do to reduce your blood pressure, including taking medication as prescribed, getting regular check-ups and making lifestyle changes such as being active, reducing your salt intake and eating healthily.

If you have any concerns or questions, ask your GP at your appointment.

Why not join the Heart Foundation’s Go Red for Women campaign and have a red-hot time whilst raising money to help fight heart disease? You can do this by dressing red, eating red, partying red…! Anything goes as long as it’s red!  By doing so you might just help to save the life of one of the very important women in your life. For more ideas or to register visit goredforwomen.org.au.

 

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1 Comment

  1. I had lots and lots and lots of headaches. That is also a sign of high blood pressure. When they checked mine, It was 195/165 – that’s not good!

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