Check Your Blood Pressure! This week on The Live Wire Ronan Lardner spoke with Caitriona Pollard, Health Check Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation. Caitriona outlines the risk undetected high blood pressure can pose for our health and wellbeing. Ronan find out why it is so important to have you blood pressure checked regularly. Listen back here to Caitriona’s advice:
2 in 3 people over 50 in Ireland have high blood pressure and only half of those are aware that they do. We know that people grossly underestimate their risk of having high blood pressure and the long-term risks of not managing the condition.
There is often no single cause of high blood pressure. Someone with high blood pressure may look and feel well, and rarely has any symptoms. The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it measured. Once you know, it’s not a big deal, you can talk to your GP about how to reduce it or treat it.
Blood pressure is measured by two numbers:
The first number records blood pressure when the pressure is at its highest i.e. when the heart muscle squeezes out the blood – this is called systolic pressure.
The second number is when the heart relaxes and allows the blood to flow back into the heart – this is called diastolic pressure.
The normal level of blood pressure is usually about 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic). If your blood pressure is 140 over 90 or higher you should discuss this reading with your doctor.
If you are over 30 get your blood pressure checked annually at your GP or pharmacy. To find out more, go to Irishheart.ie