Two-thirds of over-50s have high blood pressure, the leading cause of stroke, warned the Irish Heart Foundation at the launch of a year-round national mobile health service.

Early detection is a powerful tool in tackling high blood pressure, it says, recommending that from the age of 30 everyone should be aware of their blood pressure and get it checked as a preventative step.

Dr Angie Brown, IHF medical director, said: “While most people have heard of high blood pressure, many still don’t understand the importance of having it checked.

“Right now in Ireland close to 1m adults have the condition but half of them don’t know it.

“Silent and invisible, high blood pressure can seriously damage blood vessels and the heart if left unchecked. People with high blood pressure are three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack compared to those with healthy or controlled blood pressure.”

Those most at risk of high blood pressure are aged 45 and over: 64% of over-50s have high blood pressure, while 41% of people with high blood pressure don’t take adequate medication.

The IHF is offering free blood pressure checks in communities across the country at its dedicated mobile health unit.

Its travel schedule will be published on one month in advance.

This month it is visiting:

  • Today: SuperValu, Castlebar, 10am-5pm;
  • Tomorrow: St Muredach’s Cathedral, Mayo, 10am-5pm;
  • August 12: St Anne’s Church, Sligo, 10am-5pm;
  • August 13: Flemings SuperValu, Roscommon, 10am-5pm;
  • August 15: Sean O’Casey Community Centre, East Wall, Dublin 3, 10am-4pm;
  • August 19: Carlow Shopping Centre, 10am-5pm;
  • August 24: West Tallaght Resource Centre, 10am-2pm;
  • August 25: Quarryvale Family Resource Centre, 9.30am-1.30pm;
  • August 26: Artane Coolack Resource Centre, 10.30am-12.30pm;
  • August 29: Ballymun Family Resource Centre 10am-4pm.


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