A few simple things to remember that will If you have already had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), the use of the blood pressure lowering drug The National Stroke Foundation is a not-for-profit perindopril in combination with indapamide has been organisation that works with the public, government, • Drop the salt! and cut down on takeaway foods and shown to reduce the chance of a further stroke. health professionals, patients, carers and stroke don’t add salt at the table or when cooking.
This is also true for stroke survivors who have ‘normal’ survivors to reduce the impact of stroke on the • Healthy eating – enjoy a variety foods especially plant Stop stroke. Save lives. End suffering.
based foods including fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes and wholegrain breads and cereals.
It is important to take your blood pressure Our challenge is to save 110,000 Australians from death and disability due to stroke over 10 years. • Get active and try to exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the decisions about stopping your medication • Educating the public about the risk factors and • Limit your alcohol intake. A moderate amount of alcohol signs of stroke and promoting healthy lifestyles.
can lower your risk of stroke but more alcohol may be • Working with all stakeholders to develop and StrokeLine
harmful to your health. Stay within recommended limits The National Stroke Foundation’s StrokeLine provides • Be smokefree and quit smoking. Call Quit on 131 848 information about stroke prevention, recovery and support. • Encouraging the development of comprehensive and • Know your blood pressure numbers; remember the coordinated services for all stroke survivors Our qualified health professionals are here for you when lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of stroke. you need comprehensive information and help.
One of the most important things you can do is to have • Encouraging and facilitating stroke research.
Remember, stroke is largely preventable, so contact us your blood pressure checked regularly and confirmed today to discover the changes you can make to reduce your risk of stroke.
Call our toll free service on 1800 787 653 (open business Blood pressure medications
hours EST across Australia, a message service is available outside these hours). If you leave a message, a health If you have high blood pressure, or your overall risk of professional will return your call the next working day stroke is high because you have multiple stroke risk factors, your doctor may prescribe medications to lower your blood pressure. There are many blood pressure How can you help?
medications and your doctor may need to increase the dose or use these medications in combination to reduce Stroke is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths in Australia. We need to raise urgently needed funds to continue our work in a number of areas to reduce the incidence and Some people will require a number of different ways to lower their blood pressure (medication and lifestyle Please show your support and donate today. changes). However, medication does not cure high blood pressure, it can only help control it. Most people who are treated will need to keep taking medication over a lifetime.
This brochure cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without written * Note some types of exercises should be avoided by people with high permission from the National Stroke Foundation.
blood pressure – please ask your doctor about what is best for you.
Note: All information was correct at the time of printing August 2009.
Brought to you by the National Stroke Foundation What is a stroke?
What is blood pressure?
When your blood pressure is consistently Previous stroke or transient
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force your blood ischaemic attack (TIA)
A stroke is not a heart attack. A stroke puts on blood vessel walls as it travels through your body. Individuals with the highest risk of stroke include those High blood pressure is the most important risk factor Blood pressure varies throughout the day and if the with multiple risk factors and those who have already reading is high, your doctor may measure your blood pressure on a number of occasions. You may be asked to Your blood pressure is expressed with two numbers; It is recommended that blood pressure be maintained monitor your blood pressure at home. There are a number below 140/190 mmHg. However, reduction in blood of different blood pressure devices you may use to do this. pressure, irrespective of initial blood pressure levels, has Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.
been shown to reduce the recurrence of stroke and other This number is the systolic pressure. It is the force your blood puts on the blood vessel walls as your heart pumps. Why does high blood
Reducing blood pressure is particularly important for When blood is stopped, the brain cannot get the oxygen patients who have diabetes where levels should be below pressure matter?
it needs, brain cells in the area die and the brain can This is the diastolic pressure. It is the force pressure the ‘silent killer’ because Changing your lifestyle to lower
What are the risk factors
your blood puts on blood vessel walls as your heart is resting between beats.
your blood pressure and risk of
for stroke?
and show no warning signs. If untreated, Stroke risk is influenced by many factors. Some factors high blood pressure will increase the risk such as age, gender and a family history of stroke, You don’t have to rely on medication alone to control your of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure blood pressure. There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your blood pressure and risk However, there are a number of others that you can VERY HIGH
High blood pressure can have many harmful effects control to help reduce your chances of having a stroke. which can eventually lead to stroke; for example: Some people with mild hypertension are able to control • High blood pressure puts unnecessary stress on blood their blood pressure simply by making healthy lifestyle vessel walls, causing the blood vessel to thicken and changes. Lifestyle changes not only lower blood pressure, break down, eventually leading to a stroke.
they can increase the effectiveness of blood pressure medication and reduce risk of stroke, heart attack and • High blood pressure can speed up common forms of heart disease that can lead to stroke. • High blood pressure can increase pressure on the walls of blood vessels taking blood to the brain and weaken them, leading to a bleed in the brain known • High blood pressure can also cause blood clots or The more risk factors you have, the higher your chances plaque (cholesterol and other fat like substances) to of having a stroke. Individuals with the highest risk of break off artery walls and block a brain artery causing stroke include those with multiple risk factors and those who have already suffered a transient ischaemic attack • High blood pressure can cause a haemorrhagic stroke in people who were born with irregular formation of the vessel walls in the brain.


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