UK high blood pressure rises but more diagnosed

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UK high blood pressure rises, but diagnoses increase faster
26/01/2009

The number of people in the UK with high blood pressure continues to rise, but GPs are getting better at discovering and treating people with it. The result is that the level of undiagnosed and untreated high blood pressure in the UK is starting to fall.

Researchers studied data from the Eastern Region Public Health Observatory and UK Quality Framework Prevalence statistics.

The Observatory estimates that the number of people with high blood pressure rose by 2.7 per cent from 2004/2005 to 2007/2008 to 12,678,155 (up by 332,767). But, during the same period, the Quality Framework statistics show that GPs discovered and diagnosed 934,993 people with high blood pressure. This raised the number of diagnosed people with high blood pressure to 6,908,055.

The result is that the amount of undiagnosed people with high blood pressure actually fell by  9.5 per cent from 6,372,326 to 5,770,100.

The reason why 5.7 million people in the UK have high blood pressure without realising it is that high blood pressure doesn't tend to produce symptoms. Yet having high blood pressure is an important risk factor for developing stroke or heart attack in later life.

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

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Topics: Measurement, High blood pressure


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