Do you know your blood pressure numbers?

Know your numbers

This week (7-13 September) is Know Your Numbers week, run by the charity Blood Pressure UK. Adults across the UK are being encouraged to know their blood pressure numbers and take the steps needed to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if left untreated it can increase the risk of serious problems including heart attacks and strokes. Low blood pressure, or hypotension, causes an inadequate flow of blood to the body’s organs that can lead to nausea, dizziness and confusion.

Do you know your blood pressure numbers?

Research carried out by Benenden Health found that 30 million adults in the UK could be at risk of serious health issues because they don’t check their blood pressure.

The research found that as many as six in ten adults don’t know their own blood pressure reading, and a quarter don’t even realise what blood pressure is. The research was carried out ahead of Know Your Numbers week, an annual campaign run by the charity Blood Pressure UK.

A quarter of respondents (26%) said they wouldn’t visit a GP even if they showed symptoms of high or low blood pressure, such as headaches, blackouts and dizziness. The research also found that a fifth (20%) of these said they would be put off by lengthy waiting times. One in five also said they felt it wouldn’t be important enough to seek medical support.

The study also showed that around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure and many don’t even realise it. As a result, more than five million people are unaware of their increased risk of potentially deadly health conditions.

Benenden Health is helping tackle the issue with a new online tool to help people understand what blood pressure is and is offering tailored advice to users, achieving and maintaining a healthy reading.

How can I manage my blood pressure?

While your ethnicity, family history and age may be significant factors, according to our Benenden Hospital Matron Ali Curtis, an unhealthy lifestyle which includes smoking and drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can have a direct negative impact on our blood pressure.

But, says Ali, we have choices and can make changes to our lifestyle. An increased waist measurement of more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women has a direct link to an increased blood pressure and poor cardiac outcomes. Eating a sensible diet and staying active with even gentle exercise on a regular basis will help us to stay at a healthy weight and improve our fitness levels.

Get on top of your heart health

If you’re experiencing symptoms, or have concerns about your blood pressure, our cardiology specialists offer a range of tests and scans, from heart monitoring to CT angiography. It’s easy to make an appointment; you can ask your Consultant or give us a call on 01580 242521.

Published on 11 September 2020