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Charity helps Bristonians avoid blood pressure 'time bomb'
09/09/2008

PHOTO AND INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY: Why not send your reporter to have their blood pressure checked at the screening van Pressure Station in Central Promenade, St. Augustines Parade, Bristol on Friday 12 September? Sue Massey from UK charity the Blood Pressure Association will be visiting the screening van from 9.30am-11am, and will be available for interview. Contact 020 8772 4984 for details.

The Central Promenade in Bristol is among 30 venues across the city hosting ‘Pressure Stations’ offering free blood pressure checks during the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing event Know your Numbers!® Week 8-14 September.

Health professionals in Bristol are taking part in the national campaign run by UK charity the Blood Pressure Association by providing free blood pressure checks and information at official ‘Pressure Stations’* in convenient locations. These include a special screening van, donated and staffed by Vitality Healthcare, which will be located at Central Promenade from 8.30am-5pm on Friday 12 September so that passer-by can pop in for a free blood pressure check.

Celebrities including actress Prunella Scales, presenter Michael Aspel and Eastenders stars Rudolph Walker and Angela Wynter (who play Patrick and Yolande) are lending their support to this year’s campaign to encourage all adults to know their blood pressure numbers and take steps to reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack.

16 million adults in the UK have high blood pressure - that’s one in three - but more than five million of them are unaware of it because the condition has no obvious symptoms.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure causes strokes, heart attack and heart failure, and can also lead to kidney disease and dementia. However, once detected, the condition can be successfully treated.

Data from last year’s Know your Numbers! Week[i] revealed that 35 per cent of people tested in Avon had high blood pressure readings. 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 people with a healthy blood pressure, and twice as likely to die from these conditions.

Mike Rich, Executive Director of UK charity the Blood Pressure Association, said: “People in Bristol who took advantage of the free checks last year are the lucky ones. They now know their numbers, the importance of having regular checks and how to lower their blood pressure if they need to.

“To raise awareness during this year’s campaign we are asking ‘Are you at risk from the ticking time bomb?’ That’s because uncontrolled high blood pressure is like a hidden time bomb which can cause stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

“So we are urging people in Bristol to take control and reduce their risk of the silent killer by having a free blood pressure check during Know your Numbers! Week 2008.  It’s quick, free and painless and could save your life.”

To find out where you can have your nearest free blood pressure check during Know your Numbers! Week 2008, visit the Know your Numbers! website at www.bpassoc.org.uk/kyn or call 020 8772 4994.  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 (11am-3pm, Mon-Fri).

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • Photos of celebrity supporters and people having blood pressure checks can be provided, along with details of the latest research on high blood pressure and feature ideas. Please contact the Blood Pressure Association’s Press Office on 020 8772 4993/4984, or email mgederon@sgul.ac.uk    
  • *To find a full list of Pressure Stations in Bristol, click here and then type Bristol into the search box.  Please include details of local Pressure Stations offering free blood pressure checks before Know your Numbers! Week begins and during the Week itself.  Why not send your reporter down to get his/her blood pressure checked? Photo opportunities can be arranged at Pressure Stations – contact the BPA Press Office (details above)
  • 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. The BPA recently won the healthcare category of The Charity Awards 2008 for its work on the Know your Numbers! campaign. For more information visit the charity’s main website at www.bpassoc.org.uk, call head office on 020 8772 4994 or contact our information line on 0845 241 0989.

[i] The Blood Pressure Association’s Know your Numbers!® Week is the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing event. 253,000 people had free blood pressure checks during KYN Week 2007, which took place from 10-16 September 2007. The BPA’s research is based on a sample of 24,702 blood pressure readings recorded during KYN Week 2007.



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