Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt is encouraging residents to take time to have a free blood pressure check during this year’s Know Your Numbers campaign (17 to 23 May 2010).

Mr Pitt said the Know Your Numbers campaign is supported by the Queensland Government and the Stroke Foundation and aims to raise awareness about high blood pressure and stroke in the community.

“The week-long Know your numbers program provides free blood pressure checks at over 500 local blood pressure stations throughout Queensland and Victoria,” Mr Pitt said.

“The program has also established permanent pressure station sites in Queensland pharmacies, and there are now over 200 pharmacies who offer free blood pressure checks throughout the year.

“In 2009, more than 8,000 Queenslanders had their blood pressure taken at 334 blood pressure stations around the state.

Know your numbers is supported by Queensland Health as part of the State Government’s Toward Q2:Tomorrow’s Queensland commitment to making Queenslanders Australia’s healthiest people by 2020.

Mr Pitt said identifying high blood pressure is important in reducing the incidence of stroke.

“High blood pressure can result in damage to blood vessel walls, eventually leading to a stroke,” Mr Pitt said.

“I encourage all residents to stop at a local blood pressure station for a free, quick, painless test that could help to prevent a stroke.

“The Know your numbers program is a great way for people to be more proactive in managing their health.

“By finding out whether you have high, normal or low blood pressure, you can take steps to control it.

“This could be through a change of diet and lifestyle – particularly through regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight – or your doctor may prescribe medication.

“This year 60,000 Australians will suffer new and recurrent strokes – that’s one stroke every ten minutes.

“As you get older, your risk of stroke increases so Know your numbers primarily targets men and women aged 50 years and over.

“The secondary target group of the campaign is adults 25 years and over – however, all adults should take the necessary steps to reduce their chances of having a stroke by quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, eating healthily and being physically active,” Mr Pitt said.

Locations of pressure stations can be found online.

Participating outlets in Far North Queensland

Babinda Pharmacy – 80 Munro Street, Babinda

Calanna Pharmacy  – 75 Edith Street, Innisfail

Torre’s Pharmacy – 46 Edith Street, Innisfail

Edmonton Pharmacy – 117 Bruce Hwy, Edmonton

Calanna Pharmacy – 600 Bruce Highway, Woree

Chemist Outlet Pharmacy – 104 Mulgrave Road, Cairns

Terry White Chemists – Shop 112, Cairns Central Shopping Centre

V Pharmacy Cairns CBD Store – 2/86 Lake Street, Cairns

Karens Chemist – Shop 5/146 Anderson Street, Manunda

Day and Night Pharmacy – 318 Mulgrave Road, Westcourt

Calanna Pharmacy – 355 Sheridan Street, North Cairns

Amcal Marlin Coast Pharmacy – Shop 1-2, Campus SC Captain Cook Hwy, Smithfield

Kewarra Beach Pharmacy – Shop 4/1 Poolwood Road, Kewarra Beach

Kuranda Pharmacy – 5 Coondoo Street, Kuranda

Mareeba Discount Drug Store – Shop 9 Mareeba Shopping Plaza, Byrnes Street, Mareeba

Amcal Chemist Atherton – Shop 3, Tableland SV Cook Street, Atherton

Discount Drug Store Wadleys Atherton – 49 Main Street, Atherton

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