One in three Australians has recorded high blood pressure upon visiting their local GP, according to new research.
A study by Melbourne's Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute has found that between 2005 and 2010 more than 190,000 of the 532,000 Australians surveyed were suffering from hypertension.
"Overall, [this] data reaffirm[s] our concern that the number of people suffering from high blood pressure in Australia remains at historically high levels despite widespread awareness of the need to tackle the problem," head of preventative health at the institute professor Simon Stewart said, who led the study.
The Pressure Points in Primary Care study also found that 41 per cent of the patients on high blood pressure medication still had readings above the historically accepted treatment target.
"Unfortunately, taking blood pressure lowering medication doesn't mean a person has automatically reached a level most likely to protect them from a future heart attack or stroke," said Professor Stewart.
Those looking to take additional measure to help reduce the risk of heart disease may seek assistance from the weight loss and management services provided by some private health insurance policies.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, hypertension is the main contributor to cardiovascular disease and claims nearly 50,000 Australian lives every year.