Dublin mother highlights importance of checking blood pressure

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

A Dublin mother-of-four has urged the public to check their blood pressure, after discovering that she was a “ticking time bomb”.

Lynda Sutton, 59, is supporting a new Irish Heart Foundation campaign asking adults, particularly those aged over 50, to ask their GP or local pharmacy to check their blood pressure.

The charity’s Before Damage is Done campaign aims to highlight the link between high blood pressure and heart disease and stroke.

The condition affects two out of three people aged over 50s but half are undiagnosed, as it is symptomless.

“I thought I was invincible, but really, I could have been a ticking time bomb,” said Lynda, from Donabate.

“I thought I was healthy before, but I have completely changed my diet. I’m eating plenty of fruit and veg and no salt.

“If the dog was sick, I would take her to the vet but if I was sick, I would never go to the doctor. That’s changed now and I know how important it is to get your blood pressure checked.”

Her condition was discovered after an Irish Heart Foundation Mobile Health Unit parked near her local library in March.

Severely high blood pressure was detected, and she was advised to see her GP, who put her on medication.

“I told him I didn’t have stress or anxiety, I ate healthily and exercised with spin classes in the mornings.There is no high blood pressure in my family that I know of,” she stated.

Previous research shows Ireland has one of the lowest rates of awareness, treatment and control of high blood pressure among 12 high-income countries.

Dr Angie Brown, medical director and consultant cardiologist with the Irish Heart Foundation, said thousands of people unwittingly go about their daily lives with high blood pressure.

“The only way of finding out is to get it checked with your GP or local pharmacy as you will, most likely, have no symptoms,” she said.

“It is one of the most important risk factors for heart disease and stroke but there are many factors that affect your risk.”

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