Love your heart

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Love your heart, know your numbers!
13/02/2009

UK charity the Blood Pressure Association is urging people in the South Asian community to love their hearts by becoming blood pressure aware this Valentine’s Day.

People of South Asian descent are at a much higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke, so it’s therefore essential to keep blood pressure at a healthy level, as this can really help to lower risk of these serious health problems.

High blood pressure[1] is the biggest known cause of heart disease and stroke in the UK, but it is a symptomless condition – that’s why it’s called the ‘silent killer’. The only way to find out if you have the condition is to have regular blood pressure checks.

The good news is that, once detected, high blood pressure can be successfully managed, either by making lifestyle changes or by taking medication.

Mike Rich, Executive Director of the Blood Pressure Association, said: “The Blood Pressure Association urges everyone to love their heart and know their blood pressure numbers this Valentine’s Day.

“As people of South Asian descent are at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke and are six times more likely to develop diabetes than other people, it’s really important for them to make positive lifestyle choices which can help to keep blood pressure at a healthy level.

“Staying active, eating more fruit and vegetables, and keeping salt intake to a minimum can all help to lower blood pressure.

“It’s a good idea to try to cut down on fatty foods too, as these not only make you put on weight, which raises blood pressure, but they also raise cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke further. Fats like butter, ghee and palm oil are particularly bad.”

A new booklet ‘Love your heart, A South Asian guide to controlling your blood pressure’ is available free from the Blood Pressure Association, the UK’s leading blood pressure charity, and is also downloadable in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Visit http://www.bpassoc.org.uk/ or call 020 8772 4994 for more information.

Let love lower you blood pressure…

Pair up - research has found happily married couples have lower blood pressure than singletons, and tend to live longer and healthier lives.

Turn on the romantic music and have a laugh – listening to music you like and laughing have both been found to make your arteries open wider, increasing the blood flow in your body and lowering blood pressure.

Make a loving gift – not only will this strengthen your relationship, but certain gifts may also have health benefits…

  • Box of dark chocolates: eating a small piece of dark chocolate a day helps to lower blood pressure
  • Flower power: being close to nature has been shown to help people feel relaxed, make speedier recoveries from illness and have lower blood pressure
  • Animal magic: having a pet helps to lower blood pressure and increases general health and wellbeing.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

For more information or to arrange an interview with a case study or a BPA expert please contact Anna Cureton in the BPA’s Press Office on 020 8772 4993.


[1] High blood pressure is diagnosed as readings consistently at or above 140/90mmHg.



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