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People in West Kent urged to get blood pressure checked

User AvatarPosted by at 18/09/2013 11:15:49

Around 50,000 people in West Kent have high blood pressure but don’t know it.

That’s the prediction from NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which is urging people to visit a pharmacy and get their blood pressure checked.

More than 61,000 people in West Kent are already diagnosed with high blood pressure, which can be regulated by diet and lifestyle changes and/or medication.

The CCG is supporting Blood Pressure UK’s Know your Numbers week which is running this week (16-22 September) and urging people to ‘know your numbers’ and get tested at one of many pharmacies offering free tests.

Blood pressure measures how strongly blood is pressing against the walls of your arteries as it is being pumped around your body. If blood pressure becomes too high (also known as hypertension), it can narrow the arteries and blood vessels.  If left untreated, it can lead to serious health consequences, such as an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease or heart failure.

To help maintain a healthy blood pressure or reduce your blood pressure, people should:

  • Reduce salt and caffeine intake
  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Quit smoking
  • Do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as a brisk walk or dancing, at least five times per week.
  • Lose weight if they need to.

Dr Bob Bowes, Chair of NHS West Kent CCG, said: “Because high blood pressure rarely shows any symptoms, people live with it without realising. But it can lead to serious health problems. People should get checked and if they are diagnosed with high blood pressure they can work with their GP or practice nurse to manage it.”

As part of Know your Numbers week, more than 1,500 pressure stations will be measuring people’s blood pressure for free across the UK.  For further information and to find pharmacies across West Kent which are taking part, visit: www.bloodpressureuk.org