Everton Ambassador Graham Stuart met with Liverpool stroke survivors at the Stroke Association’s Merseyside Life After Stroke Group this week to raise awareness of the charity’s Know Your Blood Pressure initiative.
The Blues legend had his own blood pressure checked by Stroke Association staff and spent time talking with a group of stroke survivors who attend the weekly sessions at the Hope Centre to hear about their experiences.
The Stroke Association will be in attendance at the Matchday Hub on Spellow Lane from 1pm-2.30pm on Saturday ahead of kick-off against Southampton to give fans free blood pressure checks to help raise awareness of one of the biggest risk factors for stroke.
High blood pressure contributes to about half of all strokes. It is treatable with medication and by making lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly and eating healthily. Almost a quarter of people in the North West are living with high blood pressure.
After attending the session at the Hope Centre, Toffees Ambassador Graham Stuart said: “I was alarmed to learn the statistics about how many people in the UK are affected by high blood pressure and the number of people who are living without a diagnosis. A blood pressure check only takes a matter of minutes but could rule out the risk of serious health issues in later life.”
Kate Charles, Assistant Regional Manager at the Stroke Association, added: “Thousands of people are completely unaware of their own blood pressure levels, and some people we test can be shocked to hear they are showing a high reading. We then encourage them to follow this up with their GP. It’s a quick, free and painless way to find out your own risk. We’re really grateful to Graham for supporting our awareness campaign, and offering free blood pressure checks at Saturday’s fixture will raise awareness of the symptoms, causes and risk factors of stroke with football fans.”
High blood pressure affects 9.2 million people in the UK and a further estimated 6.8 million could be living without a diagnosis. Uncontrolled blood pressure can, over time, lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney damage and eye problems.
The Stroke Association is the UK’s leading stroke charity which campaigns to improve stroke care; supports people to make the best recovery they can; and funds ground-breaking research to change the lives of people affected by stroke.
The Know Your Blood Pressure (KYBP) campaign helps people to understand the link between high blood pressure and stroke. To find out more, visit www.stroke.org.uk/kybp. For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk.