Fifty per cent of Aussies don’t know they have high blood pressure

Australian study leader UWA Professor Markus Schlaich and Bayswater resident Michael Cornwall.
Australian study leader UWA Professor Markus Schlaich and Bayswater resident Michael Cornwall.

FIFTY per cent of Australians have no idea they suffer from high blood pressure, a Perth study has revealed.

Australian study leader UWA Professor Markus Schlaich said the results were “alarming”, with one third of adult Australians involved in the study suffering from elevated blood pressure.

“Half of those affected had no idea they have high blood pressure,” he said.

The UWA and Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation study found only 40 per cent of those who received treatment had blood pressure above the recommended level.

Bayswater resident Michael Cornwall is a young, active and healthy dad.

But it wasn’t until the 35-year-old visited his GP two years ago that he found his blood pressure was high.

“A lot of young people think this is something that happens to older people and not so active people but it really can happen to young and active people who have the right diet, and it shows how important it is to get tested to see if you have it or not,” Mr Cornwall said.

“I can honestly say I had no obvious symptoms until I found out.

“I had a lot of stress at the time, just started a small business, young children and things were adding up, but the medication made me feel more normal.”

This month marks May Measurement Month 2019 and free blood pressure testing booths have been set up around Perth throughout the month.

Professor Schlaich said high blood pressure did not always have obvious symptoms, but the consequences of leaving it untreated could be catastrophic, and could potentially leading to stroke, kidney or heart failure.

“We strongly encourage people to find out if their blood pressure is under control or if they have any undiagnosed issues,” he said.

To find a free blood pressure testing booth go to https://bit.ly/30npiMM.

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