Heart foundation starts high blood pressure awareness campaign

Heart health organisation Hartstichting is starting an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of high blood pressure.

The organisation will be making blood pressure measuring equipment available at various public locations, such as libraries and supermarkets, between May 27 and June 8. Advice on a healthier life style will also be available.

The organisation said many people have no idea they are suffering from high blood pressure which can affect the heart, brain and other organs and lead to strokes and heart attacks.

The Hartstichting found that one in three people in the Netherlands between the ages of 30 and 70 have high blood pressure or are taking medication to combat it. Four in 10 of people suffering from high blood pressure in this age group are unaware their blood pressure is too high.

‘High blood pressure doesn’t always present symptoms but it is doing damage all the same, for instance to blood vessels, the heart and the brain,’ family doctor and Hartstichting spokesman David Smeekes told broadcaster NOS.

That is why measuring blood pressure should become just as normal as going to the dentist for a half-yearly check-up, Smeekes said.

The Hartstichting estimates that 6,000 new cases of heart disease and 1,500 deaths could be avoided annually if the population’s blood pressure were to drop, something that could be achieved by cutting down on smoking, salty food and by exercising more.

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