The annual ‘Know Your Numbers’ Week campaign returns this week (September 4-10), urging people to monitor their blood pressure more closely.
NHS organisations in Lancashire and South Cumbria are supporting the nationwide event, organised by Blood Pressure UK, which aims to raise awareness around the dangers of high blood pressure – also known as hypertension.
Dr Ranjit More, Lancashire and South Cumbria Cardiac Network clinical lead, is encouraging people to get their blood pressure checked to help prevent killer conditions such as heart attacks and strokes.
He said: “High blood pressure is common, with one in every three adults in England having high blood pressure at some point.
“Unfortunately, many of the one in three will be unaware that they have high blood pressure due to hypertension often being symptomless. The only way to know is to check your blood pressure and know your numbers.
“High blood pressure is the commonest cause for heart attacks and strokes and the second most common cause for chronic kidney disease. That is why the Know Your Numbers campaign is needed.
“If you are an adult and have not previously or in recent months had your blood pressure checked, you need to do so.”
The NHS is expanding blood pressure checks available in local communities as part of a major drive to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Local teams are reaching out into their neighbourhoods to find potential health problems before they become more serious for patients at locations that are most convenient.
The North West has the highest number of people with GP recorded hypertension in England (17.7 per cent), but it’s thought many more – up to a further 520,000 people in the region - could have high blood pressure without realising it.
New funding as part of the primary care recovery plan will see a further 2.5 million blood pressure checks delivered in community pharmacies, which is estimated to prevent more than 1,350 cardiovascular events each year.
Dr More continued: “Your blood pressure can be checked simply and painlessly at a local community pharmacy, at your GP practice, by purchasing your own home blood pressure monitor, or even at one of the “pop up” sites during the Know Your Numbers week.
“Hypertension can be managed through lifestyle changes and medication, so if you know you have high blood pressure, it can be treated effectively.
“If you wish to remain healthy, have your blood pressure checked!”
You can get your blood pressure checked at several places, including many pharmacies, at an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults in England aged 40-74.
Community pharmacists are trained to carry out blood pressure checks, analyse the results, provide advice on lifestyle changes and have the ability to refer on patients with high blood pressure for further investigation.
To find your nearest pharmacy go to www.nhs.uk
For more information regarding blood pressure go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/