#BecauseISaySo – Blood pressure screening is important

Hypertension is known as the ‘silent killer’ because, despite there being no signs or symptoms, it can lead to serious cardiovascular disease. A blood pressure test is the only way to find out if your blood pressure is too high. In light of these facts, and in collaboration with the May Measurement Month (MMM) campaign run by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), pharmaceutical group Servier is launching #BecauseIsayso – a new worldwide campaign to raise public awareness about the importance of regular blood pressure screening.

  1. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, occurs when the body’s blood vessels are persistently put under increased pressure. The only way to know if you are affected by hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
  2. People may develop hypertension because it runs in their family or due to lifestyle habits, such as harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, being overweight, consuming too much salt, or experiencing high levels of stress.
  3. Hypertension is the leading cause of mortality1. It’s also the main risk factor for cardiovascular or heart disease and stroke. By detecting hypertension early, you can help minimise its effects.
  4. Hypertension affects more than 40% of adults over the age of 25 worldwide.2
  5. More than 6,2 million South Africans have blood pressure (higher than 140/90 mm Hg), and more than 3,2 million of these have blood pressure higher than 160/95 mm Hg, a level, which is unacceptably high, according to researchers. An estimated 53 men and 78 women die in South Africa each day from the impact of hypertension.3
  6. Hypertension is a silent, invisible disease that rarely causes symptoms. That’s why it is important for everyone to have their blood pressure checked1. Many people with hypertension may not even know they have it. Up to half of people with high blood pressure may be undiagnosed. That means that they could suffer the consequences of hypertension – and even death – without ever having been diagnosed.4
  7. A blood pressure test is simple, non-invasive and takes only a few minutes. However, tests are usually done by a healthcare professional, who uses an electronic device that is strapped to the upper arm. The cuff or band squeezes the arm for several seconds, cutting off the blood flow, and then releases. It is important that some simple rules are followed when checking for hypertension: sitting calmly, feet flat on floor, not having eaten in the past hour, etc. A healthcare professional is best qualified to do the reading correctly.
  8. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers: systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number). Diastolic blood pressure is when the pressure is at its lowest, while the heart is resting between beats. Hypertension is traditionally defined as systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure more than or equal to 140/90 mm Hg. In most cases, the higher the blood pressure, the stronger the likelihood of serious consequences for the heart, brain or kidneys.
  9. Ideally, you should have your blood pressure checked every year. If hypertension is detected early, it is possible to minimise the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure.
  10. Treatment should be individualised for each person. It is important to talk to a healthcare professional about hypertension to try to control blood pressure and restore it to healthy levels. Effective medications exist that can help control blood pressure and prevent complications. Lack of adherence to medications can be a cause of 1 out of 10 cardiovascular events, so it is important that patients take their medication correctly and are closely monitored by their healthcare professionals. When medication is taken correctly, it can offer proven levels of cardiovascular protection.2
  11. The #BecauseIsayso campaign aims to encourage young adults to start the conversation about hypertension with their parents and other older members of their families. We want to promote a close and healthy family situation where everyone can give each other advice for their own good. The idea is that grown up children have a responsibility to tell their parents what they need to do for their own good – to get their blood pressure checked – because they care about their parents.
  12. As part of the campaign, the Southern African Hypertension Society is holding several special screenings at the following venues:

As part of the drive to promote awareness, blood pressure screenings are being organised by the SAHS, to encourage people to get their blood pressure checked. These will be held at the following venues:

 

Wits University

17 May                   08:00-12:00          Main Campus (West)          Chamber of Mines Concourse

19 May                   09:00-15:00          Bryanston Organic Market

23 May                   11:00-13:00          Education campus              Bohlaneng Concourse

11 July                   11:00-13:00          Education campus              Bohlaneng Concourse

12 July                   08:00-12:00          Main Campus (West)          Chamber of Mines Concourse

25 July                   11:00-13:00          Medical School                    Adler Museum Foyer

26 July                   08:00-12:00          Main Campus (West)          Chamber of Mines Concourse

2 August                08:00-12:00          Main Campus (East)           Chamber of Mines Concourse

15 August              11:00-13:00          Education Campus             Bohlaneng Concourse

22 August              11:00-13:00          Medical School                    Adler Museum Foyer

23rd August          08:00-12:00          Main Campus (East)           Solomon Mahlangu House, Concourse

North-West University Potchefstroom campus

14 – 16 May                                          Lovers Lane

Engineering

Ikageng Mall

17 May                                                   Amphi Theatre

Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha

1 – 18 May                                            BT Ngebs Shopping Centre Mthatha (Thursdays to Saturdays)

19 – 31 May                                          BT Ngebs Shopping Centre Mthatha (daily)

UNISA

7 – 31 May            08:00                      Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens (daily except Sunday)

Limpopo               

19 May                   10:00-16:00          Ga-Mogoboya, Thlabine, Facility Sports Ground, Tzaneen

UCT

1 – 31 May                                            Groote Schuur Hospital

 

It’s quick and easy

Having a blood pressure check is quick, simple and non-invasive. Usually, the healthcare professional will use an electronic device that is strapped to the upper arm. The cuff or band squeezes the arm for several seconds, cutting off blood flow, and then releases. It is important that some simple rules are followed when checking for hypertension: sitting calmly, feet flat on floor, back supported and not having eaten (or smoked) in the past hour.

 

Ask your healthcare professional for more information about the disease and how to get your blood pressure checked.

For more information, visit www.becauseisayso.net  www.hypertension.org.za, or www.health24.com/Medical/Hypertension

 

About Servier:

Servier is a French pharmaceutical group with a worldwide presence. Servier has a portfolio of medicines in hypertension, which help approximately 15 million patients around the world to manage their condition. Servier in South Africa strives to provide innovative and responsible healthcare solutions addressing health care practitioners and hypertensive patients’ needs. With this campaign, Servier, as the international and local partner to ISH for May Measurement Month, aims to raise awareness about hypertension and to improve patient wellbeing.

About ISH:

The International Society of Hypertension (ISH) is dedicated to the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases around the world. The ISH has identified that awareness is a key issue in the fight against hypertension.4 During May Measurement Month (MMM), the aim is to screen as many people as possible for elevated blood pressure. In 2018, Servier will be partnering with ISH in order to help raise awareness and motivate those at risk to have their blood pressure checked.

 

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