Eight million people in the UK unaware they are at risk of a stroke or heart attack

Eight million people in the UK unaware they are at risk of a stroke or heart attack

Know Your Numbers Week is the UK’s largest blood pressure campaign and this year’s aim is to highlight that there are 8 million people in the UK that are living with high blood pressure but not being treated for it – both young and old – putting them at risk of stroke and heart attacks.

A shocking 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure, which is responsible for 60% of strokes and 40% of heart attacks. Left untreated, the condition is also a risk factor for kidney disease and vascular dementia.

Katharine Jenner, Chief Executive Officer at Blood Pressure UK, said: “16 million people in the UK have high blood pressure, but worryingly only half of them are aware of this and are being treated.

These ‘missing millions’ are a ticking time bomb; putting themselves at high risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.  “Our results from last year showed only 38% aged over 55 knew their blood pressure. Every adult should know their most vital statistic – their blood pressure!”

The good news is that if detected, there are many ways high blood pressure can be successfully managed and returned to a healthy level, either through simple lifestyle changes or medication.

Blood Pressure UK’s ‘Top five tips for a healthy blood pressure’:

  1. Cut down on salt – Reducing your salt intake it the quickest way to lower your blood pressure.  Don’t add it when cooking or at the table and check food labels – aim to eat less than 6g a day.
  2. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least five different portions every day.
    Watch your weight – try to reach the right weight for your height.
  3. Exercise regularly – that doesn’t have to mean the gym, how about a regular lunchtime walk? 30 minutes five times a week is ideal. If you are unsure about taking up exercise, ask your GP.
  4. Drink alcohol in moderation – no more than 3-4 units a day for men and no more than 2-3 units for women (a pint of normal strength beer = 2 units, a medium glass of wine = 2 units).

About Blood Pressure UK

Blood Pressure UK is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity working to lower the nation’s blood pressure. The charity provides information and support for people with high blood pressure and raises awareness to prevent the condition.

For more information visit the charity’s website at www.bloodpressureuk.org. If you have a question about your blood pressure, call 020 7882 6255.