Improve public health and host a ‘Pressure Station during Know Your Numbers! Week 2016

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Improve public health and host a ‘Pressure Station during Know Your Numbers! Week 2016
17/06/2016

Improve public health and host a ‘Pressure Station during Know Your Numbers! Week 2016 to help people know and manage their blood pressure

  •  High blood pressure is the single biggest risk factor for stroke
  • Know Your Numbers! Week 2016 is being held 12-18 September 

The latest Health Survey for England found that almost one third of the population has high blood pressure: 32% of men and 27% of women. [1]  Yet despite this many people have high blood pressure that is not controlled putting them at a greater risk of strokes and heart attacks. Know Your Numbers! Week is the award winning flagship campaign from Blood Pressure UK and is the UK’s largest blood pressure testing and awareness event and you can be part of it. Know Your Numbers! Week encourages people to have their blood pressure measured so they can take the steps needed to maintain a healthy blood pressure and reduce their risk of debilitating strokes and heart attacks.  The cost of high blood pressure to society and the NHS is high.  A report by Public Health England has found that diseases caused by high blood pressure are estimated to cost the NHS over £2 billion every year.[2]

We are calling on all health care professionals and organisations that are committed to improving public health to host a ‘Pressure Station’ during Know Your Numbers! Week 2016, and encourage people to have their blood pressure measured.

Commenting, Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK says:  ‘Having your blood pressure checked is one of the biggest steps that people can take to reduce their risk of strokes and heart attacks.  By signing up to host Pressure Stations, organisations will be raising awareness of high blood pressure and helping people to know their blood pressure, and if it is too high people can take steps to manage it and reduce their risk of stroke.”

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, as there are no symptoms, it is therefore important that people have their blood pressure checked and if it is high, speak to their healthcare professional and then make the necessary lifestyle changes to help them manage it. 

Employers have an important role to play in ensuring the wellbeing of their employees. A recent study found that workplace health promotion initiatives can help improve blood pressure levels among employees.[3]  Know Your Numbers! Week 2015 found that one in three UK adults didn’t know their blood pressure and 38% of people with high blood pressure had not had a blood pressure check in the previous year.[4]   This demonstrates the importance of campaigns like Know Your Numbers! in identifying people with undiagnosed high blood pressure and that carrying out blood pressure checks in diverse and more convenient locations can reach more people. 

Dave Barnard, Occupational Health Technician at Bradgate Bakery who participated in Know Your Numbers! 2015 says: “I was surprised at the number of people that wanted to be tested.  Because of this event, we identified employees with raised blood pressure, who would not otherwise have been tested.”

To sign up to participate in Know Your Numbers!, please visit http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/AboutKYN/KYN2016

To find out the benefits of taking part in Know Your Numbers! Week, please visit http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/Getinvolved/Benefits

For more information, please contact:

Tola Awogbamiye; Mob: 07967 212 839; email: PR@bloodpressureuk.org

About Blood Pressure UK

Blood Pressure UK is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity working to lower the nation’s blood pressure to prevent disability and death from stroke and heart disease. 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 website at www.bloodpressureuk.org. If you have a question about your blood pressure, call 020 7882 6255 or visit: http://www.bloodpressureuk.org. Blood Pressure UK is the operating name of the Blood Pressure Association, charity reg. 1058944.

Facts about blood pressure from Blood Pressure UK:

·         One in three adults in the UK – 16 million – has high blood pressure. It is estimated that nearly a half (8 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 attacks. 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. 

·         If your blood pressure is raised, you can lower it by leading a healthier lifestyle, and, if necessary, by taking medication as directed by your doctor.

References


[1] Health and Social Care Information Centre.  Health Survey for England, 2014: Trend tables [NS]. Available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB19297. Last accessed May 2016

[2] Public Health England.  New figures show high blood pressure costs NHS billions each year. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-figures-show-high-blood-pressure-costs-nhs-billions-each-year.

[3] Eng JY. Moy FM. Bulgiba A.  Impact of a Workplace Health Promotion Program on Employees' Blood Pressure in a Public University. PLoS One. 2016;11(2):e0148307. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148307. eCollection 2016.

[4] Blood Pressure UK.  Data on file.  Know Your Numbers! Week 2015 evaluation based on 5,794 measurements.  



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