Half of people screened have health problems

A SHOCKING 50% of people screened for raised blood pressure or high cholesterol during the National Ploughing Championships were advised to see their GP within 24 hours because their health was deemed to be seriously at risk.

Around 300 people who attended the championships in Tullow, Co Carlow, this week took part in a Pfizer Health Check.

Heart disease and smoking are two leading causes of death in Ireland, claiming more than 18,000 lives a year. “Many people don't know their blood pressure of cholesterol level,” said Ryan Quigley, of Pfizer Healthcare Ireland.

Although the number of deaths from heart attack and stroke in Ireland has dropped in the past 30 years, heart disease is still one of the biggest killers in Ireland, accounting for 39% of all deaths.

More people died in Ireland from stroke than from breast cancer, lung cancer and bowel cancer combined.

According to the Central Statistics Office, almost 11,000 people died in Ireland last year from diseases of the circulatory system. Mr Quigley pointed out that death rates in Ireland remains high at 176 per 100,000 population. The EU average is 108.

The CSO figures show Ireland has 62 premature deaths per 100,000, compared to the EU average of just over 55 per 100,000.

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