Time to check your blood pressure?
The local NHS is raising awareness of the dangers of unchecked high blood pressure which can increase the risk of stroke, heart attacks and kidney disease among at risk adults.
The NHS South East campaign ‘Time to check your blood pressure?’ highlights how a third of adults in the UK have hypertension and do not realise they have this condition. People aged over 50, or those who are overweight or obese, those with diabetes, and people of black African or black Caribbean decent or those from South Asian communities are particularly at risk.
The campaign explains the risks of hypertension and how people can manage the condition by:
- checking their blood pressure, for example at home or at a local pharmacy.*
- understanding what their blood pressure numbers mean, and what are safe levels
- Contacting their GP practice.
Dr Heike Veldtman, Cardiovascular Disease Lead at Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB), said: “High blood pressure can be a silent killer as usually there are no symptoms, so knowing that you may have the condition and taking steps to manage by losing weight and exercising more could save your life.
“Healthy adults aged over 40 should have their blood pressure checked every three to five years. This might be more frequent for people at higher risk, including those who are overweight or obese, people with diabetes, or have a significant family history of hypertension.
“And people of black African or black Caribbean decent or those from South Asian communities across BOB are also at risk because they have higher incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and stroke) compared with other communities.
“People can check their blood pressure at home using a blood pressure monitor, but need to understand what the numbers mean, and the risk levels. They can also visit a local pharmacy which offers free blood pressure tests across BOB.”
The campaign includes a series of short videos aimed at the public highlighting survivors of stroke who explain the need for people to be more aware of the dangers of high blood pressure.
- The hypertension campaign was launched by NHS South East in January 2023 ‘Living with Hypertension: Time to check your blood pressure’ see here: https://www.southeastclinicalnetworks.nhs.uk/hypertension/
- *The community pharmacy blood pressure programme is available for people aged over 40 to have their blood pressure checked for free – for more information and to view pharmacies taking part across the BOB region see here
- For advice and resources on how to measure your blood press at home visit Blood Pressure UK here or at https://www.bloodpressureuk.org/your-blood-pressure/how-to-lower-your-blood-pressure
- To view translated blood pressure information developed by Blood Pressure UK including in Urdu, Punjabi, Chinese and Polish see here
- For information about activities and events to keep you well and healthy visit the following websites:
- Active Oxfordshire at https://www.activeoxfordshire.org
- Get Berkshire Active https://getberkshireactive.org/
- Leap in Buckinghamshire https://www.leapwithus.org.uk/about-us/
- Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘Live Well’ website here: https://livewell.oxfordshire.gov.uk/
- The NHS ‘Better health’ website https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/get-active/
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Published: 28 February 2023