Embargoed until Tuesday 11 September 2018, 00.01 hours (UK time)
Nearly two-thirds of the population are ignoring THE simplest step in reducing their risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure by not knowing their blood pressure numbers – according to a startling new national survey by Blood Pressure UK to mark Know Your Numbers! Week 2018: 10-16th September.
The leading charity is now calling for all households to acquire a validated blood pressure monitor, with government subsidies for the low incomed and those most at risk – saving the NHS over £1billion every year for the 6.5 million people who still remain undiagnosed.
A significant 26.7% of respondents consider going out with friends and socialising more of a priority than having their blood pressure taken. What’s more, 14.9% would rather watch TV and a further 10.4% would opt to watch football instead.
Evidently, it appears that high blood pressure, which is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions but remains one of the leading causes of death, is of little concern to the majority. 38.6% of people surveyed are more concerned about other ailments (and the subsequent effects on their health) than knowing their blood pressure numbers – putting themselves at an increased risk of a debilitating stroke and/or heart attack.
When it comes to knowing your blood pressure numbers, a staggering 63.7% of people do not know theirs, with 16.2% thinking a healthy blood pressure reading is 130/80mmHg which implies pre-high blood pressure, compared to an ideal blood pressure reading of 120/80mmHg.
Of the 33.7% of people who own a blood pressure monitor, 41.7% still go to their GP more than once a year to be tested – with 26.2% believing they will receive a more accurate reading. Meanwhile of the 66.3% of people who do not own a blood pressure monitor, well over a quarter (27.8%) say they don’t feel the need to test their blood pressure at all. 16.6% claim they only trust their GP’s to test them.
Whilst 30.6% of people think those aged 40+ should start to worry about their blood pressure, only 19.3% believe those in their 30s should worry. With unhealthy lifestyles and poor diet contributing to more young people in their 30s, 40s and 50s being diagnosed with hypertension, around 1 in 3 people in the UK are now living with high blood pressure.
Know Your Numbers! Week is the UK’s biggest free blood pressure testing event held at ‘Pressure Stations’ around the country. The campaign encourages people to have their blood pressure measured so they can take the steps needed to maintain a healthy blood pressure and reduce their risk of debilitating strokes and heart attacks. Volunteers hosting the Pressure Stations provide information and advice on simple steps to keep blood pressure under control and will measure people’s blood pressure accurately.
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, as there are no symptoms, it is therefore important that people have their blood pressure checked and if it is high, speak to their healthcare professional and then make the necessary lifestyle changes to help them manage it.
Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are eating too much salt, not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not taking enough exercise.
Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK says: “High blood pressure kills thousands of people every year in the UK and is almost entirely preventable. It’s imperative that everyone, including children, has their blood pressure taken at least once a year and more regularly if it’s a high reading in consultation with their GP.”
Hemini Bharadia, Know Your Numbers Week! Campaign Manager says: “High blood pressure does not discriminate on age or gender – people are dying unnecessarily because they fail to take such simple steps to reduce their blood pressure. Know Your Numbers! Week is the perfect opportunity to have your blood pressure taken for free and put you in control of your health.”
For further information on Blood Pressure UK and Know Your Numbers! Week, go to: www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/AboutKYN
To find your nearest blood pressure station visit
SPECIFIC REGIONAL STATS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
For further press information please contact David Clarke @ Rock-PR
T: 07773 225516
About Blood Pressure UK
Blood Pressure UK is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity working to lower the nation’s blood pressure to prevent disability and death from stroke and heart disease. The charity provides information and support for people with high blood pressure and raises awareness to prevent the condition. Blood Pressure UK is the operating name of the Blood Pressure Association, charity reg. 1058944.
Facts about blood pressure from Blood Pressure UK:
• High blood pressure has no obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to find out if you have the condition is to have a blood pressure check.
• Untreated high blood pressure is the major risk factor for strokes, heart attacks and heart failure. It is also a major risk factor for kidney disease and dementia.
• A healthy blood pressure is a level of 120/80mmHg or less.
• A blood pressure of 121/81mmHg to 139/89mmHg is on the high side and lifestyle changes such as eating less salt, more fruit and veg and losing weight if necessary should be advised.
• If readings are consistently at or above 140/90mmHg, high blood pressure is diagnosed, and action should be taken to lower it by leading a healthier lifestyle, and, if necessary, by taking medication as directed by your doctor
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