Defeating the silent killer
© Darrell Cole – Amherst Daily News
Sue Boiduk looks over a poster about blood pressure in preparation for a free clinic today in the main foyer at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.
AMHERST – It’s the silent killer.
Many people are walking around with a ticking time bomb inside their bodies, but few will take note of it until it’s too late.
To raise awareness of the risks associated with high blood pressure, representatives from Cardiovascular Nova Scotia and the stroke co-ordinator for Cumberland, Colchester and East Hants will join with several nurses to host a free clinic at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon.
The testing will take place in the main foyer of the hospital near the information booth.
“There are so many people out there who have high blood pressure and don’t know it,” Sue Boiduk of Cardiovascular Nova Scotia said. “That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure tested so you have a baseline and get some advice on how to manage it.”
Boiduk said the clinic will not be diagnostic, but she hopes participants will take the information they receive and talk to their family doctor about the steps to take to manage their blood pressure.
“As we age we become much more conscious of things regarding our bodies,” she said. “There are some steps we can take to be more proactive with our health. That includes getting more exercise, eating a health diet and doing something as simple as reading the labels for things like salt content and cholesterol.”
Boiduk said there will be an information table with pamphlets on managing high blood pressure. There will also be cards for people to take so they can keep a record of their pressure.
She is also hoping people will continue to have their blood pressure checked regularly at their doctor’s office and at the pharmacist.
High blood pressure is the leading risk for death in Canada. Six million Canadians have high blood pressure, representing 19 per cent of the adult population. Seventeen per cent are unaware of their condition and only 66 per cent have it under control.
Boiduk said 130 over 90 is the desired pressure for most people, although for diabetics and others with chronic disease the preferred pressures is 120 over 80.
Along with heart attack and stroke, high blood pressure can also lead to kidney damage, impotence and retinal/eye disease.