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Free Blood Pressure Checks Throughout October

Monday 30th September 2019

Free Blood Pressure Checks Throughout October to Fight Stroke

The Stroke Foundation’s Big Blood Pressure Check extended to a month-long campaign

Success of atrial fibrillation trial leads to more testing sites across the country

This October marks the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand’s Big Blood Pressure Check, giving tens of thousands of people the chance to get their blood pressure checked for free at participating sites across the country.

In its 11th year, the Stroke Foundation is calling on New Zealanders to come along to one of the Big Blood Pressure Check testing stations at various PAK’nSAVE and New World sites on Saturday, 5 October. Usually, there are no symptoms associated with high blood pressure. The only way to know if you are affected is to get tested.

This year for the first time, the campaign has been extended to last the whole month of October, encouraging more people than ever to get their free check. Unichem and Life Pharmacies will be offering free checks throughout October for those that can’t make it to their local supermarket on the Big Blood Pressure Check Day.

“Getting a free blood pressure check this month could be a life saver”, explained Mark Vivian, Stroke Foundation of New Zealand CEO. “High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. One in five New Zealanders has high blood pressure but about a third of these people don’t know it. In 2018 we tested around 13,500 people during our Big Blood Pressure Check Day; running the campaign throughout October this year will help us to significantly boost our efforts to fight stroke.”

As one of the Stroke Foundation’s main priorities is stroke prevention, the campaign continues to grow and evolve. This year, the Stroke Foundation has invested in a new piece of technology to detect the heart condition, atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is a heart rhythm problem which can create the risk of blood clots and therefore increase the risk of stroke. After trialling the new device at the Wellington Emergency Services expo, the free test will also be offered across various sites throughout October.

“Like high blood pressure, many people are unaware they have AF. We want to raise awareness of these modifiable risk factors that can lead to stroke. Ultimately it’s about encouraging people to know their risk factors so that they can take action to better reduce their chance of having a stroke.” Vivian says.

Everyone over the age of 45 should have an annual blood pressure check.

Getting a check is a quick and simple step to help avoid a stroke.

A full list of testing sites can be viewed on our website:

If you’d like to donate to the Stroke Foundation and help New Zealanders across the country fight stroke, you can do so by visiting,

- ENDS -

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