Checking in for Stroke Week

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has his blood pressure checked by St John volunteer ambulance officer Matt Herbert as part of Stroke Week. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has his blood pressure checked by St John volunteer ambulance officer Matt Herbert as part of Stroke Week. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The reading might have been elevated after Monday's council meeting, but yesterday Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull's blood pressure was well within the healthy range.

The mayor received a free blood pressure check, alongside several Dunedin City Council staff, as part of Stroke Week.

Stroke, a sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain, affects about 9000 New Zealanders annually.

High blood pressure is a warning sign for many health problems, but it is especially a harbinger of stroke - someone with high blood pressure is up to seven times more likely to have a stroke than a person with normal blood pressure.

Nationally, about 16,000 received check-ups last year, and one person in 11 was referred to their GP for a follow-up.

The DCC has held a clinic for staff for the past four years.

Stroke Foundation community adviser Judith Hyslop said a clinic was held at the council as it was one of the city's biggest employers.

Its mix of sedentary and physically active staff also represented a good cross-section of the community.

The clinic started at 9am and after 90 minutes - and the mayoral check-up - around 90 people had been checked.

''We have referred several people to their GPs for a follow-up check, which shows that high blood pressure can affect anyone and you should be regularly checked.''

The Big Blood Pressure Check - in which free checks are carried out at a range of locations, most notably supermarkets - takes place on Saturday from 10am-2pm.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

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