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People of Portsmouth urged to 'Sort out your Numbers!'

Do you Know your Numbers? – that’s the question to people in Portsmouth this week as part of a drive to raise awareness of the silent killer, high blood pressure.

Health professionals will be setting up ‘Pressure Stations’ across the city measuring blood pressure and offering advice as part the Blood Pressure Association’s Know Your Numbers!® Week. The charity runs the nationwide campaign each year to help reach the millions of people who have high blood pressure but don’t know it. During the event last year, 37 per cent of those tested in Hampshire were found to have high* blood pressure readings.

Portsmouth City Primary Care Trust and Portsmouth City Council are supporting the event as part of their new Sort it Portsmouth Campaign which aims to help people reduce their risk of dying early from disease such as heart failure or stroke. Billboard posters featuring Portsmouth Football Club players are being displayed throughout the city and targeted radio campaigns are being used to promote the event.

“High blood pressure is a major cause of stroke and heart failure which are a leading cause of death and reducing quality of life in Portsmouth. But high blood pressure is a risk everyone can do something about, and the first step is to know your numbers,” said Director of Public Health, Paul Edmondson-Jones.

Mike Rich, Executive Director of the Blood Pressure Association, said: “We are delighted that Sort It Portsmouth is teaming up with our Know your Numbers! campaign. One in three adults has high blood pressure, yet a third are unaware of it because it doesn’t have obvious symptoms. Uncontrolled and undetected, it’s like a ticking time bomb that can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and dementia, but this is preventable. That’s why we are urging people in Portsmouth to have a blood pressure check, it’s quick, free and painless and could save your life.”

Pressure Stations will be located in Guildhall Square on Monday (8th) and Tuesday (9th) between 9am and 5pm. They will also be set up in Palmerston Road (Tuesday 11am-4pm), Commercial Road (Wednesday 9-5) Paulsgrove Healthy Living Centre (Wednesday and Friday 11am-4pm) Cosham Precinct (Thursday and Saturday 9am-5pm) and Portsmouth Football Club for the team’s match against Middlesbrough (Saturday 12pm-3pm). Tests are free and take just 10 minutes, a health trainer will be on hand to give you advice if you about what to do next if your reading is outside the normal range.

For more details about the Know your Numbers! campaign, a map of your nearest Pressure Station or further information about high blood pressure visit www.bpassoc.org.uk/kyn or call 020 8772 4994.


Notes to Editors:

  • For more information on Know your Numbers! Week or on high blood pressure, contact the Blood Pressure Association’s Press Office on 020 8772 4993/4984, or email mgederon@sgul.ac.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. The charity 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

Facts about blood pressure from UK charity the Blood Pressure Association:

  • A healthy blood pressure is a level of less than 120/80.
  • 140/90 is the level used to diagnose high blood pressure in all adults. If your blood pressure is consistently at or above this level you will need to lower it and should book an appointment with your G.P.
  • High blood pressure has no obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to know what your blood pressure is, is to have a check.
  • You can lower your blood pressure by having a healthier lifestyle, and, if necessary, by taking medication as directed by your doctor.

The BPA’s Top Tips for a Healthy Blood Pressure

  1. Cut down on salt – don’t add it and remember to check food labels to ensure you don’t eat more 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?
  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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