Are your at risk for high blood pressure? It’s very likely. In fact, 90 per cent of Canadians will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime. However, a recent study has found Canadians are not very concerned about developing the deadly condition
Although we have significant awareness of many chronic conditions and diseases such as cancer and diabetes, we are much less aware of an equally life-threatening condition: hypertension. According to a Ipsos survey commissioned by Dairy Farmers of Canada, 59 per cent of Canadians are concerned with developing high blood pressure – even though 90 per cent will actually be diagnosed.
That’s why it’s known as the silent killer: an estimated one in six people do not know they have high blood pressure, with over six million Canadian adults affected by the condition. High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for death due to stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease. If left untreated, it can lead to coronary artery disease, dementia, heart and kidney failure, and other chronic diseases. However, the condition can be prevented or managed through lifestyle changes.
“With Canadians facing such a high risk of developing high blood pressure, we all need to make healthy lifestyle choices, like striving towards a more balanced diet,” says Nathalie Savoie, Registered Dietitian and Assistant Director, Nutrition, Dairy Farmers of Canada. “One of the tools to help prevent or manage your blood pressure is to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as an adequate amount of milk product every day. In fact, milk products contain potassium, magnesium, calcium and protein, all of which have been shown to effectively help maintain a healthy blood pressure.”
Other key survey findings include:
- Canadians tend to attribute lifestyle (51 per cent) as a greater cause of high blood pressure than age (22 per cent). However, the risk of developing high blood pressure drastically increases with age; more than 50 per cent of Canadians over the age of 60 live with high blood pressure.
- Most Canadians think that high blood pressure is more common in men than women. However, by age 60, it is actually more common among females – with more than half of all women being diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Registered Dietitians at Dairy Farmers Canada encourage Canadians to download the free Get Enough Helper App. For each day that the app is used, Dairy Farmers of Canada will donate one dollar to one of the following great causes: Heart and Stroke Foundation, Osteoporosis Canada or Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (up to a maximum of $100,000 per organization).
For more information on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and to download the Get Enough Helper App, visit getenough.ca.