Sons of Dermot Morgan urge awareness of high blood pressure

One million adults at risk from ‘silent killer’

 Sons of Father Ted actor Dermot Morgan Don , Ben and Rob  pictured last year. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Sons of Father Ted actor Dermot Morgan Don , Ben and Rob pictured last year. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 16:21

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the sons of the late actor and comedian Dermot Morgan are supporting a move to encourage greater awareness of the risks of high blood pressure to almost one million adults here.

Mr Kenny and Don, Rob and Ben Morgan, sons of the Father Ted actor, joined the Irish Heart Foundation and healthcare products company Covidien today to launch a free blood pressure road show at Government Buildings in Dublin.

Rob Morgan, carrying a placard warning: “Careful Now”, said neither his father nor family were aware of the risks from high blood pressure when Dermot Morgan died in 1998 of a heart attack at the age of 45.

“My first reaction when I was told I had high blood pressure was to panic but it turned out to be nothing that could not be treated,” Rob Morgan said.

Men were most reluctant to go for a blood pressure check but they should do so, he said.

Mr Kenny smiled ruefully when Ben Morgan asked him if his blood pressure had returned to normal after his native Mayo’s All-Ireland final defeat last Sunday.

Mr Kenny said cardiovascular disease was “a serious problem“ in Ireland. He was delighted to be launching the roadshow and urged people to avail of it when it visits about 30 locations around the country.

Professor Alice Staunton of the IHF said high blood pressure or hypertension often has no symptoms. “A person can look and feel fine and be unaware, on the inside, silent damage is happening to blood vessels which can lead to serious problems like heart attack, stroke and heart or kidney failure,” she said.

A simple five minute check is all it takes to detect the condition which can then be effectively managed through lifestyle changes such as being a healthy weight, active and consuming less salt, fatty foods and alcohol, Ms Staunton said. Medication was necessary in some cases, she added.

Details of the roadshow are available at www.irishheart.ie