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High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke in the UK. More than 16 million people in the UK have high blood pressure.
All our work is dedicated to lowering the UK's blood pressure for life. In this way we hope to spare many people unnecessary death or disability by helping them to avoid high blood pressure or to keep it under control.
The scale of the problem
- High blood pressure is an important, but sometimes little recognised, risk factor for the development of stroke and heart disease. It is also factor in kidney disease and some types of dementia. It is responsible worldwide for half of all strokes and heart attacks (World Health Organisation study).
- In the UK high blood pressure is a massive problem – an estimated 16 million people are affected. That’s one in three adults. As people get older, this proportion increases - around half of people over 50 will have or develop it.
- Of those people with high blood pressure, one in three are unaware that they have it as it is almost always symptomless. The only way to detect high blood pressure is through a blood pressure check.
- Historically, high blood pressure has been poorly identified and treated in the UK, although this is improving. This current situation means that many people have poor control of their blood pressure and, ultimately, 125,000 preventable strokes and heart attacks occur every year.
- High blood pressure can be prevented and successfully treated. Many deaths that occur as a result of the effects of high blood pressure could be avoided with improved detection and management.