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Health Matters - Know Your Numbers 2018

Health Matters - Know Your Numbers 2018
29 August 2018

Dr Mike Clark, clinical lead for health optimisation at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and GP partner at High Street Surgery, Macclesfield

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, which is why is it often referred to as the silent killer. The only accurate way to know you have a problem with your blood pressure is to get it checked. High blood pressure increases your risk of a stroke or heart disease but it can be easily treated once it’s been diagnosed. That’s why I’m encouraging ALL family members to get their blood pressure checked. This can be done with your own home monitor, through your local pharmacy or practice nurse, and by your GP.

Know Your Numbers! week is the nation’s largest blood pressure testing event and awareness week. It is taking place from next Monday (10 September) to the following Sunday (16 September) and many organisations in Cheshire have worked collaboratively to ensure there are “pressure stations” across the county. A list of the partners and pressure stations in your area can be found here.

The aim of the Know Your Numbers! campaign is to make people aware of the risks of high blood pressure and encourage them to make positive lifestyle changes to reduce their blood pressure.

Having high blood pressure puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs such as the brain, kidneys and eyes. This increases your risk of having a heart attack, heart failure or a stroke, as well as developing heart and kidney disease.

High blood pressure can be prevented or reduced by eating a healthy diet, cutting down on salt intake and eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Avoid smoking and keep to the recommended alcohol limit (14 units a week). Being more active (30 minutes of exercise five times a week) in your daily life is also good for keeping blood pressure down.

If you’d like to get involved in Know Your Numbers! then just drop in at a time and location that’s convenient for you. The test only takes a few minutes and will be carried out by a clinician.

If the test does indicate your blood pressure is consistently higher than the recommended level then the clinician will advise you on what to do and give you supporting information.

The Know Your Numbers! campaign is run by Blood Pressure UK and more information can be found on its website at www.bloodpressureuk.org.