Find out if you are the one in three in Leicestershire County and Rutland

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Find out if you are the one in three in Leicestershire County and Rutland
02/09/2009

Know your Numbers with NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland

Public health experts at NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland will be asking everyone ‘Could YOU be the 1 in 3?’ when they offer free blood pressure checks as part of Know your Numbers! Week 2009 (7-13 September), the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing event.

One in three adults in the UK – that’s 16 million – has high blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension is known as the ‘silent killer’ because it is often symptomless until you suffer a stroke or heart attack.

An estimated one in ten people in Leicestershire and Rutland has high blood pressure and doesn’t know it, leaving them at risk of heart attack, stroke and a range of other serious conditions. Only by checking your blood pressure regularly can you ensure you are not one of them.

NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland is supporting the Blood Pressure Association’s Know your Numbers! Week, during which hundreds of thousands of people across the UK receive free checks through special ‘Pressure Stations’, which have been set up nationally, and throughout Leicestershire and Rutland.

Mike Rich, executive director of the Blood Pressure Association, said: “We are delighted that NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland is taking part in Know your Numbers! Week 2009 to help provide free and convenient blood pressure checks.

“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.”

Dr Peter Marks, director of public health at NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland, said: “Many heart attacks and strokes are linked to high blood pressure – the idea of Know your Numbers! Week is to ensure that your high blood pressure is diagnosed and treated.

“Because high blood pressure is typically symptomless, often the first time people know they have high blood pressure is following a stroke or heart attack. It is vitally important that we all know our numbers so we can take precautions.”

You can find your nearest blood pressure station, by using the online search facility at: www.bpassoc.org.uk/kyn

For more information on high blood pressure visit http://www.bpassoc.org.uk/ or call the Blood Pressure Association’s Information Line on 0845 241 0989 (Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm).

High blood pressure puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure can also cause heart and kidney disease, and is closely linked to some forms of dementia.

High blood pressure is usually a combination of:

  • too much salt
  • not enough fruit and vegetables
  • low levels of activity
  • being overweight
  • too much alcohol.

Simple monitors will measure the blood pressure in the arteries during the heart beat (systolic) and between the heart beat (diastolic) with the systolic blood pressure reading (usually the highest) first.

Blood pressure measures vary depending on age – but generally high blood pressure is considered anything consistently over 140 / 90 over several weeks. It is normal for the blood pressure to rise temporarily when we are anxious or excited, so before being diagnosed with high blood pressure, doctors, usually your GP or practice nurse, will require several readings over a number of weeks – and in some cases will use a 24-hour monitor.

Home-use blood pressure monitors are widely available, but hypertension should always be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

High blood pressure can be treated in a number of ways. In many cases it can be lifestyle changes, such as better diet and being more active. If this fails to bring blood pressure to acceptable levels, your GP may consider one of a wide range of medications to bring it under control.


This press release was issued by NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland. For more information, contact the communications office on 0116 295 7663.


Notes to editors:

  • People with high blood pressure are three times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke and twice as likely to die from these as people with a normal blood pressure.
  • Approximately 62,000 unnecessary deaths from stroke and heart attacks occur due to poor blood pressure control each year.
  • 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 http://www.bpassoc.org.uk/ or call head office on 020 8772 4994.


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