Why is the Know Your Numbers! campaign needed?
It is estimated that around 6 million people in the UK have high blood pressure and don’t know.
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms; the first sign of it could be a heart attack or stroke. In fact half of all heart attacks and strokes are caused by high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also cause kidney disease, dementia and other illnesses too.
Knowing your Numbers gives you a chance to get the treatment and support you need to lower your blood pressure and make any necessary lifestyle changes, in order to lead a long and healthy life.
The campaign may be for this week, but remember it’s always good to Know Your Numbers!
How can I find out what my Numbers are?
- You can contact your GP surgery to find out if they have a blood pressure machine for patients to use themselves.
- Alternatively, several pharmacies in the Reading area are now offering a free blood pressure check service for people aged over 40 years.
“I just feel it’s so important to raise awareness about high blood pressure. We didn’t know Glen was so ill because he had no symptoms. People don’t realise how important it is to have your blood pressure checked regularly – but as my husband’s case has shown, none of us should take anything for granted.” Kathryn.
Visit the Blood Pressure UK website to read more of Kathryn’s story and for more information and advice about blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure
Dr Shahed Ahmad, NHS England’s Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Medical Director for NHS England in the South East, said: “High blood pressure, which rarely has noticeable symptoms, increases your risk of heart attack or stroke if left untreated, which is why knowing your numbers could save your life.
“The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure tested which you can easily do at several places. NHS pharmacies across the South East provide the lifesaving checks to anyone aged 40 or over. Equally, you can get your blood pressure checked at an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults in England aged 40-74, at home using a home blood pressure monitor or at your local GP surgery.”
He added: “If you are 40 and over, the recommendation is that you have your blood pressure tested at least every five years so that any potential problems can be detected early. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, then it’s important to have your blood pressure tested more regularly, at least once a year.”
Around one third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure and around 8 million people in England have diagnosed high blood pressure. An ideal blood pressure is under 120/80mmHg.
For more information, visit High blood pressure (hypertension) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)