Almost half of over 50s with high blood pressure 'unaware of their condition'

Concern is being raised about the level of people here who have high blood pressure and don't know it.

New research emerging from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) shows that 64% of the population aged over 50 suffer from hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure), and 45% of those are unaware of their condition.

One in five men aged over 80 have an abnormal heart rhythm, but only one-third of those are aware and receiving the correct treatment.

One in 10 people over the age of 50 have had an injurious fall in a 12-month period, increasing to 16% in the over-75 age group.

The findings are being described as significantly worrying as the illness can lead to stroke, heart failure and dementia.

Led by Professor Rose Anne Kenny at Trinity College Dublin, TILDA has completed three waves of data collection from its nationally-representative sample of over 8,000 people living in Ireland, aged 50 and over.

Professor Kenny said that people are facing unnecessarily poor health as a result.

"These disorders are modifiable risk factors for dementia, stroke, heart failure and kidney failure – some of our most life-threatening and costly diseases," says Professor Kenny.

She added: "Given that our demography is aging, it's very important that we identify treatable conditions and treat them on time, so that people can have healthier, longer lives rather than live longer with disability in later years."

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