NHS Sheffield KYN09

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NHS Sheffield backs campaign for regular blood pressure checks

One in three adults in the UK have high blood pressure (hypertension) – that’s the shocking statistic behind UK charity, the Blood Pressure Association’s latest campaign. Yet a third of those who have the condition don’t even know it because raised blood pressure does not give any symptoms.

If raised blood pressure is not detected and treated it can make it more likely that people will have stroke or heart problems. Once it has been diagnosed then it can be very successfully managed.

Now in a move to encourage people to get regular blood pressure checks, NHS Sheffield is backing the Blood Pressure Association’s Know your Numbers! Week, the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing event – asking people to speak to their GP or Pharmacist for information, as well as running a poster campaign on the City’s trams and in local pharmacies.

Sheffield GP, Dr Richard Oliver, said: “Getting your blood pressure checked is quick, painless and it could save your life.

“It’s not just for older people - it’s good for younger people to get their blood pressure checked too. Stress, lack of exercise and unhealthy lifestyle choices can all contribute to raised blood pressure, so getting into the habit of having regular checks can help you stay healthy and well throughout your life.

“You can get your blood pressure checked at many local pharmacies as well as your local GP practice. If your numbers are higher than 140/90, ask if you could be one of the three who have undiagnosed high blood pressure.”

One young person told us: “I was told my blood pressure was high when I was just 25, and if it went any higher they’d consider giving me medication. As I was young I was shocked, but my lifestyle at the time involved lots of driving, eating on the go, with very little exercise. I made a conscious effort to change things around and now my blood pressure is spot on."

A number of Sheffield based companies have pledged their support for the campaign, including Stagecoach Supertram, who are promoting the campaign to customers.

Julia Shaw, Commercial Manager, Stagecoach Supertram, said: “We were amazed how many people are affected by high blood pressure and wanted to help raise awareness and support the campaign. It seems such a simple thing to do and it’s something I’ll be doing myself during Know your Numbers! Week.”

Mike Rich, Executive Director of the Blood Pressure Association, said: “We are delighted that NHS Sheffield are taking part in Know your Numbers! Week 2009.

“This year we’re asking ‘Could YOU be the 1 in 3?’ because one in three UK adults has high blood pressure, yet millions have no idea they have the condition, and are unknowingly putting themselves at risk of stroke and heart attack.”

If you have a question about high blood pressure and would like to speak to someone over the phone, call the Blood Pressure Association’s Information Line on 0845 241 0989 (Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm).

To find out more about the campaign visit the Know your Numbers! website at www.bpassoc.org.uk/kyn or call 020 8772 4994.

Notes to Editors:

  • For more information on Know your Numbers! Week, or for facts, figures, quotes and photos, contact the Blood Pressure Association’s Press Office on 020 8772 4993/4984, or email acureton@sgul.ac.uk
  • For further information on NHS Sheffield, to arrange for your reporter to have their blood pressure checked, or for a photo or interview, please contact Joanne Wilson, Communications Officer on 0114 305 1340 or joanne.wilson@sheffieldpct.nhs.uk
  • The Blood Pressure Association 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 main website at www.bpassoc.org.uk, or call 020 8772 4994

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