NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and charity Blood Pressure UK are urging local residents to know their blood pressure numbers in the same way they know their height and weight – and to find out by having a free, quick and easy blood pressure check.
The CCG is supporting the charity’s ‘Know Your Numbers!’ campaign for blood pressure testing awareness week (16-22 September). High blood pressure is the UK’s biggest silent killer, responsible for 60% of strokes and 40% of heart attacks. It is also a risk factor for kidney disease and dementia. One in three adults have high blood pressure and a third of them have no idea, as it has no symptoms.
New research from Blood Pressure UK has revealed that nearly nine out of 10 people do not know their own blood pressure numbers, and people are twice as likely to know their lottery numbers. Knowing your lottery numbers might not win you the lottery, but knowing your blood pressure numbers could save your life.
High blood pressure nearly always has no symptoms but its effects, if left untreated, can be traumatic, both to the patient and to their family. However, if it is detected, it can be successfully managed and returned to a healthy level.
Dr Nigel Taylor, a local GP and Governing Body Member of NHS Calderdale CCG, said: “The only way of knowing if there is a problem is to have your blood pressure measured. If you haven’t had yours measured, or you don’t know what your blood pressure reading is, ask your local pharmacy or GP to check it for you.
“You might find it helpful to measure your own blood pressure at home and this can be a useful way to check it on a regular basis. It is important to choose a monitor that has been ‘clinically validated’. This means that it has been tested and gives results that you can trust. Monitors that measure at your upper arm are usually more accurate and consistent. If you are considering measuring your blood pressure at home, speak to a doctor or nurse for advice.”
From 16-22 September 2013, Blood Pressure UK will have over 1,000 Pressure Stations across the UK offering free blood pressure checks. The location of free checks can be found at www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/Freebpchecks. Blood pressure can be checked for free on a regular basis at local pharmacies.
For more information on blood pressure, the symptoms, causes and treatment, go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/Blood-pressure-(high).