Lloydspharmacy has announced the publication of a new study that reveals 35 per cent of 16-34 year olds had high blood pressure readings.
The study, which involved 8568 people over the age of 16, showed that only one in four had an ideal or normal blood pressure reading. Alarmingly, four per cent of those under the age of 34 had readings which showed severe or very severe hypertension.
The average blood pressure for the UK gives cause for concern, with a reading of 140/86, pushing the country into the hypertensive category. Across the UK various pressure points were identified, with the average blood pressure in the East of England hitting 143/86 and 143/85 in the South West.
Research conducted by Lloydspharmacy shows that more than seven in ten adults in the UK have never had their blood pressure checked and, with one in five doing no forms of exercise, it is perhaps no surprise that the nation's blood pressure is soaring.
As the population ages, the situation only seems to worsen, as one in ten adults over the age of 55 showed signs of severe or very severe hypertension, putting themselves at serious risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Men seem to be at a higher risk of high blood pressure than women with three in four classed as having high normal blood pressure or some level of hypertension, but a high percentage of women are still at risk as more than 67 per cent of nearly 3,000 women tested over the age of 55 showed signs of hypertension.
Shafeeque Mohammed, clinical pharmacist and heart health expert at Lloydspharmacy, said: "Although we must bear in mind that a one-off blood pressure test is not conclusive, cumulatively the average readings were higher than anticipated. It was particularly worrying to see the number of younger people with readings that put them in the hypertensive category. We would certainly want to explore this further."
Professor O' Brien, Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology at The Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, added: "Lack of blood pressure control increases the chances of cardiovascular problems such as strokes, heart attacks or kidney problems.
"Recent evidence shows that although prescribing of blood pressure-lowering drugs has increased, BP control has not improved. It is apparent that prescribing alone is not the answer - people of all ages need to take their blood pressure seriously and re-evaluate their lifestyle to reduce the risk of hypertension. I applaud the efforts that Lloydspharmacy is making to promote awareness of blood pressure and in encouraging people to get their blood pressure checked on a regular basis."
Notes to Editors:
This study is an analysis of 8586 blood pressure tests, which were conducted between January and June 2010 both in pharmacy and during the Lloydspharmacy Healthy Heart Sofa Tour, which visited a number of major cities across the UK.
Lloydspharmacy has over 1650 pharmacies across the UK. These are based predominantly in community and health centre locations. The company employs over 17,000 staff and dispenses over 151 million prescription items annually, both in-pharmacy and via its online chemist.
Lloydspharmacy, which is a community pharmacy, has primary care at the heart of its business. This is why it has launched a range of products aimed at improving community health such as affordable blood pressure monitors and allergy relievers, as well as a suite of convenient professional health check services including free blood pressure and diabetes testing, and cholesterol and heart checks in the comfort of a private consultation room. Lloydspharmacy also offers an online doctor service This confidential service is registered with the Care Quality Commission and complies with the highest standards of clinical care.
For more information please contact:
Lloydspharmacy Press Office
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