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Novocastrians join global fight against high blood pressure


A group of hearty Novocastrians got the ball rolling to launch May Measure Month recently, joining the global fight against high blood pressure (bp).

Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes, Committee for the Hunter CEO Alice Thompson, professional musician and First Nations activist Isaac Compton, Stories Of Our Town producer Glenn Dormand, aka Chit Chat von Loopin Stab of Channel V & Machine Gun Fellatio fame, and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes all rolled up their sleeves at Customs House on International Hypertension Day.

Under the direction of the Hunter Medical Research Institute’s (HMRI) Professor Doan Ngo, the local “bp” heroes were the first to get their blood pressure checked ahead of the campaign unveiling.

Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes rolled up his sleeve for a blood pressure check.

May Measure Month is expected to reach more than 100 countries, all with the same message.

“We’re encouraging people over the age of 18 to get their blood pressure checked,” HMRI chief partnership and development officer Todd Williams said.

“We’ll also be measuring residents throughout the Hunter New England Local Health District at free public events and workplaces between now and 31 July.

“Getting yourself checked can go a long way to averting the three leading preventable causes of death in Australia: coronary heart disease, stroke and dementia.

“High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the number one risk factor. 

Stories Of Our Town producer Glenn Dormand, aka Chit Chat von Loopin Stab of Channel V & Machine Gun Fellatio fame.

“One-in-three Australian adults have it but only half of them know they have it.

“We cannot treat and control high blood pressure if people remain unaware of their condition.

“This has major health equity and economic implications across Australia.”

Mr Williams admitted the challenge was even greater closer to home… in the Hunter New England region.

“Local rates of these conditions surpass those in metropolitan areas,” he said.

“Many cases remain undiagnosed, untreated or under-treated. 

“With a large percentage of our local population affected, the stakes have never been higher.”

The HMRI, to be supported by the Heart Foundation and Australian Cardiovascular Alliance, will host its first community activation event – be a part of #thebigsqueeze – at McDonald Jones Stadium when the Newcastle Knights tackle the Canterbury Bulldogs on Friday 31 May.

Visit the team in the Fan Zone before the 8pm kick-off.

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