MP's have blood pressure measured

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MP's have blood pressure measured
26/01/2016

MP’s have blood pressure measured to highlight the importance of a healthy blood pressure to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), strokes and heart attacks

MPs had their blood pressure measured today in the House of Commons by Blood Pressure UK as part of an official launch for a new cholesterol plan for government designed to address the issues around CVD. Untreated high blood pressure is the major risk factor for CVD, and it is also a risk factor for strokes and heart attacks, kidney disease and vascular dementia.

One in three adults in the UK, approximately 16 million people has high blood pressure.  A healthy blood pressure is a level of 120/80mmHg or less, and the importance of maintaining a healthy blood pressure has been highlighted recently in the results of two studies.  The SPRINT study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to 120mm Hg reduces the number of strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, compared to a group whose level was 140mm Hg.  The study also showed that lowering blood pressure to 120mm Hg resulted in a reduction in total mortality of 30%.  A review of blood pressure clinical trials published in The Lancet found that for every 10 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure, the risk of major cardiovascular disease events, coronary disease, stroke and heart failure was significantly reduced. 

The results of these two studies provide further evidence of the importance of maintaining a healthy blood pressure, yet of the 16 million people with high blood pressure, it is estimated that nearly a half (8 million) don’t know they have the condition.  The cost of high blood pressure to society and the NHS is high: a recent report by Public Health England estimated that a reduction in the average population blood pressure would result in cost savings of just under £1billion. 

Julia Wolman, Health Communications & Policy Officer at Blood Pressure UK, said: “Blood Pressure UK is delighted to be a part of this event and to have MP support by having their blood pressure tested to raise awareness of the condition, as it is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease including strokes.  Blood Pressure UK is committed to improving awareness, diagnosis and the management of high blood pressure. Knowing and understanding your blood pressure numbers, and ensuring that your blood pressure is at a healthy level, is the first step to achieve this aim.”

For more information about high blood pressure, visit www.bloodpressureuk.org.

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About Blood Pressure UK

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 website at www.bloodpressureuk.org. If you have a question about your blood pressure, call 020 7882 6255. Blood Pressure UK is the operating name of the Blood Pressure Association, charity reg. 1058944.

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

1.    Cut down on salt – Reducing your salt intake it the quickest way to lower your blood pressure.  Don’t add it when cooking or at the table and check food labels – aim to eat less than 6g a day.

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. If you are unsure about taking up exercise, 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).



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