Thursday, 24 September 2009

Wrexham's AM says "Get your blood pressure tested"

Wrexham's Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, is calling on her constituents to have their blood pressure tested, to assess their risk of stroke.

As part of Healthy Living Week, Lesley Griffiths had her blood pressure tested by staff from the Stroke Association at the National Assembly this week.

The health charity is campaigning to raise awareness of the danger of high blood pressure as a major risk factor in stroke and has been offering AMs and their staff blood pressure testing.

Stroke is the third biggest killer in the UK and the biggest cause of adult disability. An estimated 10,000 – 11,000 people in Wales suffer a stroke every year. Of all people who suffer from a stroke, about a third are likely to die within the first 10 days, about a third are likely to make a recovery within one month and about a third are likely to be left disabled and needing rehabilitation.

A stroke can happen to anyone at any time. Around a quarter of strokes happen to those aged under 65, with around 1000 happening to those under 30 in the UK.

Commenting following her test, Lesley Griffiths AM said:

"Many people are suffering from undiagnosed high blood pressure and this is the single biggest risk factor for stroke. Getting your blood pressure tested is quick, simple and painless."

Trish Hughes of the Stroke Association said:

"Many people think that a stroke cannot be prevented, but that is not the case. Forty per cent of strokes are caused by high blood pressure and lifestyle is a big factor in stroke. Taking regular exercise, not smoking, limiting salt intake and generally eating a healthy diet can make a real difference."

Editor's Note: This is the 2nd story we have run this evening about blood pressure and strokes. If we have to run another 58 about the other members getting their blood pressure tested and awareness of stroke symptoms - we will. We think it matters.

About Strokes
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted. Most strokes occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Some strokes are caused by bleeding in or around the brain from a burst blood vessel. When the blood supply is disrupted, parts of the brain become damaged or destroyed. Some strokes are fatal whist others can cause permanent or temporary disabilities such as paralysis to one side of the body and loss of the ability to speak, read or write. Recovery may be slow and can vary from person to person.

A stroke can be diagnosed by using FAST – Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech problems, Test all three. If any of these symptoms is present call an ambulance straight away. A stroke can happen to anyone at any time. Around a quarter of strokes happen to those aged under 65, with around 1000 happening to those under 30.

The Stroke Helpline provides information on stroke to the general public and is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on 0845 3033 100

More information on The Stroke Association can be found at


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