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Know your numbers and combat high blood pressure

Know your numbers and combat high blood pressure
12 September 2017

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it has no symptoms.

Therefore, the only way for people to know if they are at risk from a stroke or heart disease is to have a blood pressure check. 

Now, we're urging residents to mark Know Your Numbers Week from 18 to 24 September by finding out their blood pressure numbers at a pressure station.

Visit www.bloodpressureuk.org and follow the links.

Dr Paul Bowen, our clinical chair and GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton said: “High blood pressure puts extra strain on blood vessels, heart and other organs such as the brain, kidneys and eyes. Persistent high blood pressure increases the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.”

These include:

  • heart disease and heart attacks
  • strokes
  • heart failure
  • kidney disease
  • vascular dementia.

 People are at increased risk of high blood pressure if they:

  • are over 65
  • are overweight or obese
  • are of African or Caribbean descent
  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • eat too much salt and don't eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • don't do enough exercise
  • drink too much alcohol or caffeine-based drinks
  • smoke
  • don't get much sleep or have disturbed sleep.

 The following lifestyle changes can help prevent and lower high blood pressure:

 

  • reduce salt consumption and eat a healthy diet
  • don’t exceed the British Medical Association’s sensible drinking limits – 21 units a week for men and 14 for women
  • losing weight if overweight
  • exercising regularly
  • cutting down on caffeine
  • stopping smoking
  • getting at least six hours of sleep a night.

As salt raises blood pressure, people should aim to eat no more than a teaspoonful each day. Blood pressure is also reduced by eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre – such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta – and plenty of fruit and vegetables.