Is our partner's shoe size really more important than their health?

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Is our partner's shoe size really more important than their health?
10/09/2012

NEW RESEARCH REVEALS ONLY 17% OF ADULTS KNOW THEIR PARTNERS BLOOD PRESSURE

·        Adults are three and a half times more likely to know their partners shoe size than their blood pressure
·        Four times more likely to know their partner’s place of birth than their blood pressure numbers
·        Blood Pressure UK calls for all adults to have a free blood pressure check to help reduce Britain’s biggest silent killer

We could all be scoring an own goal and putting the boot into our partner’s health without realising it. That’s the warning from charity Blood Pressure UK as it releases new research that reveals that most of us are more likely to know the shoe size of our nearest and dearest than their weight or blood pressure.

To coincide with this year’s Know your Numbers! Week, Blood Pressure UK has released new research showing that only 17% of adults know their partner’s blood pressure, compared to 41% who know their partner’s weight,  60% who know each other’s shoe size and 69% who know their partner’s place of birth (see table 1).

Whilst it may put us in the good books of our partner’s to know what music they like, it’s shocking to find out we’re twice as likely to know our partner’s favourite band than their most vital statistic- their blood pressure numbers.

A shocking 1 in 3 adults in the UK has high blood pressure and 1 in 9 adults has high blood pressure and have no idea because it has no symptoms. It is the UK’s biggest silent killer, being responsible for 60% of strokes and 40% of heart attacks and is also a risk factor for heart disease, kidney disease and dementia.

Every year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. That's one person every five minutes. A third of these die as a result and hundreds of thousands are left disabled, some severely. A further 124,000 heart attacks are also suffered, many resulting in death, others in permanent disability.

High blood pressure can quite literally devastate lives, yet 68% of people do not know their own blood pressure [1] and only a quarter of this number knows their partner’s.

If it is detected though, high blood pressure can be successfully managed so Blood Pressure UK is therefore urging all adults to become familiar with their blood pressure numbers by taking advantage of the free tests available right across the UK during Know your Numbers! Week, which runs until September 16. During Know Your Numbers! Week, over 1,500 free blood pressure testing stations are set up all over the UK to encourage and enable people to get that potentially life saving free blood pressure check.

A quick, painless test really can mean the difference between life and death or serious disability.

All UK adults can find their nearest 2012 Pressure Station and take advantage of their free check by visiting:

www.bloodpressureuk.org/kyn  or by calling 0208 772 4994 (office hours).

Professor Graham MacGregor, Chair of Blood Pressure UK, says,

“High blood pressure is a very dangerous condition when not managed. Its effects can ruin lives, take lives and destroy families. It’s not just old people who have high blood pressure. Even in your thirties, you have a thirty percent chance of having raised blood pressure. It is the biggest cause of strokes and heart attacks, but the good news is that it can be lowered through lifestyle changes and if needed by medication.

“The most single important thing that you need to know is what your blood pressure is.

“You won’t know what your blood pressure is, the only way you can find out is by going for a free check today.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of their health for their own sake and their family’s. Watching what you eat and drink and knowing your blood pressure and weight is common sense.

“Please take advantage of the free blood pressure checks on offer to lower yours and their risk of stroke and heart attack.”

If you have a question about high blood pressure and would like to speak to someone over the phone, call Blood Pressure UK’s Information Line on 0845 241 0989.
Blood Pressure UK and Populas Survey asked 2,038 adults the question below.

Table 1.
Which of the following do you confidently know about your partner?

 

Total
Male
Female
Unweighted base
2038
1018
1020
Weighted base
2038
999
1039
Their place of birth
1408
69%
703
70%
706
68%
Their eye colour
1316
65%
623
62%
692
67%
Their shoe size
1225
60%
558
56%
667
64%
Their height
1192
58%
592
59%
600
58%
Their favourite drink
1187
58%
590
59%
597
57%
Their weight
845
41%
382
38%
463
45%
Their favourite musician/ band
784
38%
345
35%
439
42%
Their blood pressure
348
17%
170
17%
178
17%
None of these
24
1%
17
2%
7
1%
I do not have a partner
509
25%
226
23%
283
27%

Notes to Editors:

•  For more information on Know your Numbers! Week, call 020 8772 4980/4997/4992, or email kyn@bloodpressureuk.org

•  To contact the Blood Pressure UK Press Office, call Claire McLoughlin on 020 8772 4992 or email claire.mcloughlin@bloodpressureuk.org or Mark Hooley on 020 8772 4980/ 07872651860 or email mark.hooley@bloodpressureuk.org

•  Blood Pressure UK is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity working to lower the nation’s blood pressure. The charity provides information and support for people with high blood pressure and raises awareness to prevent the condition. For more information visit the charity’s main website at www.bloodpressureuk.org or call 020 8772 4994

•  Blood Pressure UK is an on operating name of the Blood Pressure Association.

Facts about blood pressure from Blood Pressure UK:

•  One in three adults in the UK – 16 million – has high blood pressure. A third of these (5 million) don’t know they have the condition.

•  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 stroke and heart attack. It is also a risk factor for heart and kidney disease and vascular dementia.


•  A healthy blood pressure is a level of 120/80mmHg or less. If readings are consistently at or above 140/90mmHg, high blood pressure is diagnosed, and action should be taken to lower it. 


•  Although sufferers may feel healthy, uncontrolled high blood pressure can progressively damage their vital organs.


•  You can lower your blood pressure by having a healthier lifestyle, and, if necessary, by taking medication as directed by your doctor.


Blood Pressure UK’s ‘Top five tips for a healthy blood pressure’:

1.            Cut down on salt – don’t add it when cooking or at the table and check food labels to make sure you don’t eat more than 6g a day (a teaspoon). Remember 75% of the salt we eat is already in the food we eat, so check the labels before buying.


2.            Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least five different portions every day


3.            Watch your weight – try to reach the right weight for your height.


4.            Exercise regularly – that doesn’t have to mean the gym, how about a regular lunchtime walk? 30 minutes five times a week is ideal, but if you are unsure about taking up exercise and how much, ask your GP.


5.            Drink alcohol in moderation – no more than 3-4 units a day for men and no more than 2-3 units for women (a pint of normal strength beer = 2 units, a medium glass of wine = 2 units).


[1] From a survey of 19,281 people taken during Know your Numbers! Week 2011, 68% of those tested were not aware of what their blood pressure numbers were before testing.



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