If you think you’re over-worked, under-paid and predisposed to having high blood pressure, today’s your day.

Experts in Brisbane have celebrated World Hypertension Day by releasing the findings of a world-first study into what makes our hearts tick.

Amity Neumann reports.


High blood pressure is common. Too common. In fact, more than half a million Queenslanders suffer the condition.

Specialists say it’s a ‘silent killer’.

Prof Michael Stowasser, Hypertension Specialist: “It’s the leading contributor to stroke and cardiac disease in our society and also a major contributor to chronic kidney disease and eye diseases, so it’s a very important condition.”

Originally there was thought to be no cause or cure, but Professor Michael Stowasser is finally starting to find some answers after 10 years of intensive research.

Prof Michael Stowasser, Hypertension Specialist: “If you can find a cause such as primary aldosteronism, you may be able to offer a cure with the option or opportunity of patients getting off all their medications and have their blood pressure return to normal.”

The Queensland professor’s pioneering research has excited the international medical community.

Prof Michael Stowasser, Hypertension Specialist: “This research is the research that lead to the discovery that primary aldosteronism was very common is really a Brisbane invention and has been now replicated in many countries in the world.”

He hopes his research will make people change their health habits before it’s too late.

Globally, seven million people died of hypertension every year, with more than one and a half billion sufferers. That’s why every year on May 17th, more than 47 countries mark World Hypertension Day.

Trish Kearney is a patient at the PA hospital who has received ongoing treatment since 2006.

As a patient of Professor Stowasser’s, she’s helping the good doctor on his quest to change our health habits.

Trish Kearney, Patient: “Eating healthily and good exercise not just 10 minutes a day. I try and do four to five times a week, half hour every day.

Amity Neumann, QUT News.