Members of the public are being encouraged to get their blood pressure checked during the national blood pressure awareness week – Know Your Numbers (14 – 20 September 2015). The purpose of the week is to encourage adults across the UK to know their blood pressure numbers and take the necessary action to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart attack, heart failure and kidney disease. There is also increasing evidence that it is a risk factor for vascular dementia. One in three adults in the UK has high blood pressure and around a third of people with high blood pressure do not know that they have it, as there are no obvious symptoms. This is why it is often called the ‘silent killer’.
Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “High blood pressure is one of the largest causes of premature death and disability due to the potentially fatal strokes, heart attacks, heart failure or even kidney failure it causes.
“However, it is largely preventable, approximately 62,000 unnecessary deaths from stroke and heart attacks occur due to poor blood pressure control – the first step is a quick, simple and painless test.”
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 a health event
- at home – you can check blood pressure yourself with a home testing kit.
A simple blood pressure test will tell patients if their blood pressure is normal, high or low.
To find your local Blood Pressure UK station visit www.bloodpressureuk.org.