During Know Your Numbers! Week (18 to 24 September 2017) people are being encouraged to have their blood pressure measured so they can take the steps needed to maintain a healthy blood pressure and STOP Stroke.
Almost one in three adults has high blood pressure (hypertension) and is at risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and vascular dementia. However many people don’t know they have it as high blood pressure rarely has any symptoms – the only way to know is to have your blood pressure measured.
More than half of all strokes are caused by high blood pressure and stroke is the 4th largest cause of death and the biggest cause of disability in the UK. As well as the impact it has on individuals and their families, high blood pressure costs the NHS in excess of £2 billion a year.
Last year more than 7000 people were tested nationally during Know Your Numbers! Week. Almost half of those tested had ‘pre-hypertensive’ readings and 16% had high blood pressure readings.
Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
“In addition to taking regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, having your blood pressure checked is one of the biggest steps that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke and other diseases. A simple blood pressure test will tell you if your blood pressure is normal, high or low.”
Blood pressure testing is available in a variety of settings:
- at your GP surgery by a GP, practice nurse, healthcare assistant or self-service machine
- at a pharmacy
- as part of your NHS Health Check
- in some workplaces
- at some health events
- at home – you can check blood pressure yourself with a home testing kit.
Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Clinical Leader, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added: “High blood pressure is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions therefore it’s important that people have their blood pressure checked and if it is high, speak to their healthcare professional to make the necessary lifestyle changes to help them manage it. All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years.”
To find your local Blood Pressure UK station visit www.bloodpressureuk.org.
This campaign also coincides with Public Health England’s relaunch of the Heart Age Test, which urges adults to take three minutes out of their day to take the test. The test can be accessed on the One You website at https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou .