Look to the person to your left, and now to the right. One of the three of you is likely to have high blood pressure, even without knowing it. And if it’s untreated, it increases their risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked. This week is ‘Know Your Numbers’ week, designed to encourage people to check their blood pressure.
Age, ethnicity, genetics and gender make some people more likely than others to have high blood pressure, or hypertension as it’s also known.
But the good news is that it’s treatable, and by making some lifestyle changes, for example using less salt and eating a healthier diet, cutting down on alcohol and exercising more, it’s manageable, and it’ll help you live a longer and healthier life.
The key is knowing whether or not you have high blood pressure, even if you don’t show any symptoms that might suggest it.
And that just takes a simple test, which is widely available at pharmacies across the UK.
In fact, checks are available at over 8,000 pharmacies. You can find your nearest store that offers them, online.
They are also available as part of your NHS Health Check, so please attend if invited. Or you can even check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor.
It doesn’t take long. You can register the reading – which comprises of two numbers – quickly online, and it gets submitted to your GP for review.
Dr Shahed Ahmad, NHS England’s national clinical director for cardiovascular disease prevention, said the ‘quick and straightforward’ tests ‘could add years to your life’.
“By providing blood pressure checks on the high street, the NHS is making it easier than ever before for people with high blood pressure to be identified and treated earlier, helping people live healthy lives for longer.
“Getting checked at your local pharmacy is quick and straightforward, and could add years to your life by getting the treatment or medication you need earlier.”
Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health, said:
“The important thing is diagnosing high blood pressure early to reduce the risk of potential problems later on. Checking is simple and quick, and it can make a real difference to people’s lives. Measure your blood pressure; consider any lifestyle changes you can make; and manage it and your health to live longer, healthier lives.”
Contact our blood pressure helpline by phone on 020 7882 6218 or by email at email@example.com with questions about home monitoring, your blood pressure and heart health.