Know your numbers and combat high blood pressure
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it has no symptoms.
The only way for people to know if they are at risk from a stroke or heart disease is to have a blood pressure check.
Now, health leaders at NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging residents in the area to mark ‘Know Your Numbers Week’ from 18th to 24th September by finding out their blood pressure numbers at a pressure station.
Visit www.bloodpressureuk.org and follow the links for more information.
Dr Paul Bowen, CCG clinical chair and GP with McIlvride Medical Practice in Poynton, said: “High blood pressure puts extra strain on blood vessels, heart and other organs such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.”
He added: “Persistent high blood pressure increases the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.”
Theses conditions include:
- heart disease and heart attacks
- heart failure
- kidney disease
- vascular dementia.
People are at increased risk of high blood pressure if they:
- are over 65
- are overweight or obese
- are of African or Caribbean descent
- have a relative with high blood pressure
- eat too much salt and don't eat enough fruit and vegetables
- don't do enough exercise
- drink too much alcohol or caffeine-based drinks
- don't get much sleep or have disturbed sleep.
The following lifestyle changes can help prevent and lower high blood pressure:
- reduce salt consumption and eat a healthy diet
- don’t exceed the British Medical Association’s sensible drinking limits – 21 units a week for men and 14 for women
- losing weight if overweight
- exercising regularly
- cutting down on caffeine
- stopping smoking
- getting at least six hours of sleep a night.
As salt raises blood pressure, the more salt you eat, people should aim to eat no more than a teaspoonful each day.
Blood pressure is also reduced by eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre. This includes foods such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta – and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG represents 23 GP practices which together plan and buy healthcare for over 200,000 people in and around Alderley Edge, Bollington, Chelford, Congleton, Disley, Handforth, Holmes Chapel, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Poynton and Wilmslow.
Know Your Numbers Week runs from 18th-24th September 2017, and is the UK's biggest blood pressure testing and awareness event.
This year's theme is STOP Stroke. High blood pressure is responsible for approximately 60% of strokes and the number of strokes among younger adults is increasing - research indicates that as many as 9 out of 10 strokes are preventable.