Researchers from Macquarie University’s Australian School of Advanced Medicine (ASAM), will be raising awareness among students and staff by offering free blood pressure checks on World Hypertension Day.
Currently, there are three different blood pressure-related research areas underway at ASAM. According to Dr Mark Butlin, a Senior Research Fellow at ASAM, despite improvements in blood pressure control over the last 20 years, hypertension remains one of the major causes of death in Australia. It is often called the ‘silent killer’ because many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it.
“Most of the time, there are no symptoms, but if hypertension goes untreated, it results in damage to arteries and vital organs, strokes and even death,” Butlin said.
“We are looking at three target areas directly related to blood pressure – the heart, brain and the role of the kidneys. We are looking at how the brain sends out signals to control blood pressure, how the kidneys regulate it, and how the workings of the arteries near the heart alter blood pressure.”
Dr Butlin notes that blood pressure near the heart or central blood pressure, can be very different to blood pressure measured in the arm.
“We hope that this research may offer a clearer overall picture of the way blood pressure functions throughout the body and eventually lead to the development of a better range of therapies for treating hypertension,” he said.
What: Measure your blood pressure on World Hypertension Day
When: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Where: Central Courtyard near Marxines
When: 12 noon – 1 pm