Health professionals are calling on adults in the East Midlands to check their blood pressure in a bid to prevent heart attacks and strokes
Public Health England (PHE) East Midlands is supporting May Measurement Month, a global awareness campaign initiated by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), by encouraging all adults in the East Midlands to get their blood pressure taken.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including your local GP surgery, some pharmacies, some workplaces and at an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults in England aged 40-74.
Pharmacies in the East Midlands are being offered free web-based training, funded by Health Education England, to support them to take blood pressure measurement correctly and have conversations about lifestyle behaviours that cause high blood pressure.
Increasingly more and more people are carrying out blood pressure tests at home using their own digital blood pressure monitor and smart watches.
Once you know your blood pressure, you can plug the numbers into PHE’s online ‘Heart Age Test’ which provides an estimation of a person’s heart age compared to their real age. The Heart Age Test asks a number of simple physical and lifestyle questions including what your blood pressureis and provides an estimation of someone’s heart age, as well as a prediction of the risk of having a heart attack or stroke by a certain age. It also gives suggestions on lifestyle changes to help people reduce their heart age, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and cutting back on alcohol.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), with stroke and heart attack being the most common examples, is the leading cause of death for men and the second leading cause of death for women.
In the East Midlands, there are around 4,957 deaths from heart disease and 2,594 deaths from stroke each year. It is estimated that around a quarter of these deaths are in people under the age of 75 and 80% of those are preventable if people made lifestyle and behaviour changes to improve their health. Knowing their blood pressure and heart age helps people to find out whether they are at risk and consider what they can do to reduce this risk.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure can both increase someone’s heart age, making them up to three times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke In England, approximately one in four adults have high blood pressure and 5.5 million of these could be living with the condition undiagnosed, placing millions of lives at risk of premature death and ill health.
Ann Crawford, Deputy Director - Health, Wellbeing and Workforce Development at PHE East Midlands, said: “Getting to know your heart age and blood pressure is simple and free and can be life saving. I would urge all adults in the East Midlands to take the Heart Age Test during May Measurement Month. By taking simple steps to adjust behaviour and lifestyle patterns people can significantly reduce their risk of a stroke or heart attack.”