The ‘know your numbers‘ national campaign runs from 4th-10th September and aims to raise awareness of high blood pressure. Monitoring it is an easy and simple step to reducing chances of pain and disability in the future.
Blood pressure is the term used to describe the strength with which your blood pushes on the sides of your arteries, as it’s pumped around your body. High blood pressure or ‘hypertension’ means your blood pressure is too high. It means your heart is working harder when pumping blood around your body. This in turn stresses the pipes and along with cholesterol leads to heart attacks and strokes.
Known as the ‘silent killer’ because it usually has no symptoms until it’s too late. It is the leading cause of disability – accounting for 50% of all strokes and heart disease. But by knowing your numbers you can be on the front foot. You can start making healthy lifestyle changes and taking medicines if needed to bring it down to a healthy level. By making this small change and eliminating hypertension it would remove the single biggest cause of death in women.
Monitoring your blood pressure
The good news is monitoring your blood pressure has never been easier:
- BP@home is a scheme that is now available in most GP surgeries. Your local GP Practice team is helping to identify those at greatest risk of hypertension and is inviting them to monitor their blood pressure. This will be in the comfort of your own home and feedback the results to your GP surgery.
- If you’re over the age of 40 you can get a FREE blood pressure check at your local pharmacy.
- Some GP practices also have ‘surgery pods’. They can help take a blood pressure recording and send directly to your GP health record without requiring an appointment.
- Blood pressure monitors can easily be bought online for use at home.
Dr Manisha Kumar, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Greater Manchester, said: “This Know Your Numbers week we really want everyone to understand the importance of monitoring your blood pressure. It is easy to prevent devastating illnesses like strokes and heart disease from happening.
“Whether you’re using a blood pressure monitor at home or visiting your local GP or pharmacy, you’re never too young or old to start checking. It doesn’t matter whether you’re already leading a healthy lifestyle or not, it can also be caused by genetics so you may need medication. Simply by keeping an eye on it and contacting your doctor if you are concerned, can have the single biggest positive impact on your health.
“By reducing your blood pressure, within six weeks you are less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. In fact, for every 10mm HG (the unit of measurement for blood pressure) reduced there is a 25% reduction in risk.”
Find out more
To find out more about monitoring your own blood pressure please visit our blood pressure page.