In the UK, high blood pressure is the third biggest risk factor for heart disease after tobacco, smoking and poor diet.¹ Not many people know that high blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases the risk of developing serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
GPs across Kirklees are supporting the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts initiative to ensure people with high blood pressure receive the care they need. The initiative aims to identify patients who may have high blood pressure but are not yet diagnosed, and those who have been identified as having high blood pressure to achieve better control.
In our area, Healthy Hearts is starting to show very encouraging results with just over 1,500 new patients added to their GP practice’s hypertension register since Jan 2019. These patients can now be more closely monitored with the aim of reducing their risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.
Dr Steve Ollerton, Healthy Hearts clinical lead for Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs, said: “There isn’t always an explanation for the cause of high blood pressure, but not doing enough physical activity, being overweight or obese, eating too much salt, regularly drinking too much alcohol and having a family history of high blood pressure can all play a part. It’s never too late to start looking after your heart and we’re working with the Healthy Hearts initiative to help patients make the kinds of lifestyle changes needed to stay healthy”.
Dr Youssef Beaini, Clinical Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate said: “We’re working with GPs and local NHS clinical commissioning groups to help reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate alone, more than 600,000 people are affected by high blood pressure.² We’re are really encouraged by the results we’re seeing and that’s all down to the hard work of GPs and their clinical staff on the front line”.
For more information about the West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s Healthy Hearts initiative, please visit www.westyorkshireandharrogatehealthyhearts.co.uk
- *Exact figure 616,636, taken from ‘Hypertension prevalence estimates, 2017 – National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network’ and published in British Heart Foundation packs – Blood pressure: How can we do better?