The NZ Stroke Foundation is bringing free blood pressure checks to PAK'nSAVE car parks around the country as a part of the annual Big Blood Pressure Check Road Trip.
With today being World Hypertension day, the Stroke Foundation hopes to match its annual tally of 20,000 free community checks.
The road trip vans are sponsored by Ryman healthcare and will be on the road for eight weeks in a partnership with Foodstuffs NZ.
Around one in every five Kiwis has high blood pressure, and it is a leading cause of strokes. Many people often go years without realising they are suffering. High blood pressure and therefore strokes are more common in Māori, Pacific Islanders, and Asians, so the Road Trip hopes to give free checks to as many people as possible.
“High blood pressure can be controlled, but only if people know
they have it, otherwise, they carry the risk of stroke with them constantly.” Said Jo Lambert, Chief Executive of the Stroke Foundation.
“Every time we visit a community, as many as 3% of the people we test are at high risk of stroke. That’s 300 people for every 10,000 people we screen, that are in hypertensive crisis. A hypertensive crisis is when high blood pressure is so acute that someone is in critical danger of experiencing a stroke.”
One stroke is experienced every hour in NZ, with around 2,000 Kiwis dying per year.