News release

Come on Nova Scotia, Check IT! Take the Blood Pressure Challenge

NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Neala Gill, manager, Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia; Peggy Dunbar, manager, Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia; and Susan MacNeil, manager, Nova Scotia Renal Program.

Nearly one-third of Nova Scotian adults have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Women have a slightly higher rate, and people with diabetes, have a 70 per cent higher chance of having high blood pressure.

And as people age, the risk for high blood pressure increases, too.

High blood pressure is a serious medical condition. It damages arteries, weakens organs and can cause blood clots. The damage significantly increases the risk of strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease.

The good news is that it can be prevented, detected and controlled.

To maintain target blood pressure, lead a healthy lifestyle: maintain a normal weight, make smart food choices and live an active lifestyle.

Losing as few as 10 or 20 pounds can make a big difference.

Eating fewer servings of processed foods and not adding salt to meals will help reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

A body was born to move, so people need to get active with anything they do. Even 10 minutes of simple activities, twice a day can help.

The Come on Nova Scotia ... Check It! Blood Pressure Challenge is a provincial awareness initiative in conjunction with World Hypertension Day, May 17.

During May, the Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia, Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Renal Program encourage all Nova Scotians to have their blood pressure checked, learn more about blood pressure and use the provincial My Blood Pressure Card tools (available at www.gov.ns.ca/bloodpressure/card.asp).

Regular blood pressure checks are the first step to maintain overall health.

Come on Nova Scotia ... Check it!

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Media Contacts:

Nicole Brooks
Department of Health and Wellness 902-424-2608 E-mail:
Neala Gill
Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia 902-473-7834 E-mail:
Peggy Dunbar
Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia 902-473-3219 E-mail:
Susan MacNeil
Nova Scotia Renal Program 902-473-5656 E-mail: