Almost one in five people of the 1,061 surveyed by Gordons Chemists at the Balmoral Show were referred to their GP for further checks, the company says.
For Robert Brown, 61, it may have been a life-saving move. “I was at the show and was persuaded by my wife to go along to Gordons and have a health check. They warned me that I had high blood pressure which I obviously didn’t know I had,” he said.
“Thanks to the test I was able to go and get a full health check at the Ulster Clinic and now I'm being treated for it. If I hadn't gone along to the Gordons stand, who knows what might have happened. It might well have saved my life.”
His colleague at Tayto, Lesley Vogan, also had a health check. She said: “My blood pressure is slightly higher than normal and it was a wake-up call.
“When we are in our 40s we all think we are fit and healthy but now I know I have a slightly high reading I can start to do something about it.”
Gordons Chemists have now launched Blood Pressure Awareness Fortnight. Joanne Henderson, Professional Services Manager for Gordons, said: “The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure. High blood pressure rarely has any symptoms. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it measured and measured frequently. We can all take steps which will reduce our risk such as maintaining an ideal weight, exercising regularly, stopping smoking and cutting down on added salt in the diet.
“Blood Pressure Awareness Fortnight will run in our pharmacies over the next two weeks (September 13-25), where we hope to be able to identify more people like Robert who are unaware that they may have a life-threatening condition so why not call into your nearest Gordons Chemists for a check.”
The test is free and there is 50% off home testing kits.