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Big NZ Blood Pressure Check set to break records

Big NZ Blood Pressure Check set to break records – Saturday 3 October

200 communities taking part nationwide

20,000 blood pressure tests in 4 hours targeted

Local and national spokespeople available

VIDEO available for websites: stroke survivor Mau Moananu - Preview: https://youtu.be/hnvBfm0y4tg

The 2015 Big New Zealand Blood Pressure check is set to break records for the number of people to have their blood pressure tested in one day, in over 200 communities throughout the country on Saturday 3 October. The Stroke Foundation hopes that more than 20,000 New Zealanders will get a free health check on the day.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and the Big NZ Blood Pressure Check aims to persuade more people to check their blood pressure regularly and take action to reduce it if necessary.

One person who knows all too well the dangers of not controlling your blood pressure is Mau Moananu who had a stroke in 2007 at the age of just 41:

“My previous job was at the Ministry of Social development – I was a regional director. That was before I had the stroke. I was a 155kgs, I used to smoke quite heavily, drink too much… I don’t think I really looked after myself. I used to see my doctor every now and then – he told me I had high blood pressure, and I would use the pills, but when they ran out I would say, ach I’m alright.”

And Mau has a warning for everyone: “High blood pressure – you’ve got to watch out for it. You’ve got to really check it out, because if you don’t check it out you won’t know. It can happen to anyone.”

[FULL MAU MOANANU VIDEO INTERVIEW AVAILABLE AT https://youtu.be/hnvBfm0y4tg Footage available without music backing if preferred]

More than 700 volunteers from St John [Wellington Free Ambulance], Rotary and other health organisations will offer the free blood pressure checks to the public, mostly at New World and PAK’nSAVE supermarkets between 10am and 2pm on 3 October.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Mark Vivian said: “The Big NZ Blood Pressure Check is about getting New Zealanders to get their blood pressure checked regularly and manage it if it’s too high – because someone with high blood pressure is up to seven times more likely to have a stroke than a similar person with normal blood pressure. So the campaign is about letting people know how they can lower their blood pressure if it’s high and to pay more attention to their risk of stroke.”

In previous years the campaign has tested up to 18,000 people on the day, but with venues topping 200 for the first time it is hoped that the 20,000 barrier will be broken this year. “The more people who know to get this simple check, the more lives we can save,” said Mark Vivian. “You can have high blood pressure and know nothing about it – the only way to know is to get it checked.”

For a list of the venues throughout New Zealand where testing will take place, see www.strokewise.org.nz. A list of contact details for local spokespeople is attached.

ENDS

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