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News releases

Blood Pressure Association tackles silent killer of African Caribbean community
11/04/2007



A new initiative from UK charity, the Blood Pressure Association (BPA), is helping to tackle high blood pressure, the silent killer of the African Caribbean community.

High blood pressure is the leading cause of death and disability through stokes and heart attacks, among people of African Caribbean descent. Yet many African Caribbean people don’t realise they carry a greater risk of developing high blood pressure and could be increasing that risk through their diet and lifestyle.

To help tackle this, the BPA has worked with people from the African Caribbean community to produce a range of easy to read leaflets giving practical information on how healthy eating and lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure.

Carol Webley Brown (49), a member of the BPA, who contributed to the development of the new leaflets, explains: "As an African Caribbean woman with high blood pressure, I know how important it is to lower and take control of my blood pressure, but this hasn’t always been the case. I love my food, but like many people, just didn’t realise how much salt was in my favourite chicken and fish dishes and soups.

"It’s great to have been involved in the production of these new materials. The new leaflets give useful tips and information and highlight the importance of getting your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. I hope they will help other people like me to take the steps they need to reduce their blood pressure."

Savita Sharma, BPA Community Information Officer who led the project, explains: "With high blood pressure affecting almost 45 per cent of Black Caribbean men and over 40 per cent of women¹, this is a health issue of major concern for Britain’s African Caribbean community. The good news is high blood pressure can be controlled and treated."

"The BPA has worked with health professionals and people with high blood pressure from the African Caribbean community to produce leaflets such as: ‘Healthy eating – The African Caribbean way,’ and ‘How to cut down on salt,’ which offer alternatives ways of cooking typical African Caribbean dishes that are high in salt and provide tips on how to eat more healthily."

Lalit Kalra, Professor of Stroke Medicine, Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine adds: "I am delighted that the BPA has produced these much needed guides which give clear, practical tips to help African Caribbean people understand how they can lower their blood pressure for life."

If you would like copies of these free leaflets or more information about high blood pressure and the BPA, please visit www.bpassoc.org.uk or call 020 8772 4994.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

¹ Joint Health Surveys Unit (2001) Health Survey for England 1999

For further information please contact:
Anne-Marie Devaney, BPA Press & PR Officer, 020 8772 4993

  • The Blood Pressure Association is the UK’s blood pressure charity which provides information and support to people with high blood pressure and also raises awareness about prevention of the condition.
  • People of African Caribbean descent are particularly at high risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
  • Reducing the amount of salt that you eat, and eating more fruits and vegetables, will lower your blood pressure.
  • To arrange an interview with a case study or BPA medical expert please contact Anne-Marie Devaney on 020 8772 4993.


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