Retirement show

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Retired people in Manchester feel the pressure

UK charity the Blood Pressure Association (BPA) is urging the over 55s in Manchester to reduce their risk of stroke, heart attack and dementia by lowering their blood pressure.

The BPA found that two thirds of people tested had high blood pressure readings when the charity carried out free checks at The Retirement Show in Manchester last month.

Almost all of the 573 people tested were aged over 55, an age group at increased risk of high blood pressure.

People with high blood pressure, diagnosed with readings consistently at or above 140/90 mmHg, are three times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke than those with a healthy blood pressure, and twice as likely to die from these conditions.

Sue Massey, the BPA’s Head of Communications, said: "We were able to offer free checks to nearly six hundred people during The Retirement Show, thanks to local nurse volunteers. It was a great opportunity to reach people who hadn’t had a recent check and to talk to those with high blood pressure about the best ways to get their condition under control."

The BPA carried out research among visitors to assess readings and to find out more about their knowledge of high blood pressure and its risks.

"Worryingly, around 66 per cent of those tested had high readings and were advised to visit their GP for further investigation," said Sue.

"Though most people surveyed were aware that uncontrolled high blood pressure is the main cause of strokes and heart attacks, just 21 per cent knew that high blood pressure can also cause dementia."

The free checks were carried out as part of the charity’s Know your Numbers! campaign, which aims for all adults to know their blood pressure numbers in the same way as their height and weight.

Sue said: "Those who had a free check are the lucky ones, as they now know their numbers and if they need to take action to lower them.

"We urge all adults, especially those over the age of 55, to look after their blood pressure. High blood pressure is a serious but treatable condition and we want to help people take control of it, before it takes control of them."

For a free blood pressure information pack from the BPA, call 020 8772 4994 or visit


Media contact: Sue Massey at the BPA’s Press Office on 020 8772 4984.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Blood Pressure Association is the leading UK charity dedicated to lowering the nation’s blood pressure. The BPA provides information and support to people with high blood pressure and raises awareness to prevent the condition. For more information visit or call 020 8772 4984
  • The Retirement Show, Manchester was held on 14-15 March. The Retirement Show, London takes place on 18-19 July 2008 at London Olympia. More than 100 exhibitors will be taking part, including the BPA which will once again be offering free blood pressure checks. For more information visit

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