Health: Don’t miss out on free blood pressure test

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UK charity the Blood Pressure Association is warning people that ‘Ignorance isn’t always bliss’ as it urges everyone to get their free blood pressure check during this year’s Know your Numbers! Week, which starts on Monday.

Know your Numbers! Week is the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing event.

Health professionals will be offering free blood pressure checks at a variety of convenient venues or ‘Pressure Stations’ in the area. To find your nearest Pressure station, visit www.bpassoc.org.uk/kyn

During last year’s Know your Numbers! Week 26 per cent of people tested in Bedfordshire, 63 per cent in Bucks and 34 per cent in Hertfordshire had high blood pressure readings.

Almost 1,500 Pressure Stations are being held nationwide, with venues in high street and supermarket pharmacies, shopping centres, markets, sports centres and other popular community venues.

A shocking one in three adults has high blood pressure and a third of them have no idea as it has no symptoms. That’s around five million people whose lives are actually at risk because they don’t know their numbers.

High blood pressure nearly always has no symptoms and for many people is ‘out of sight and out of mind’, but its effects can be devastating. It is the UK ’s biggest silent killer, being responsible for 60 per cent of strokes and 40 per cent of heart attacks. However, if it is detected it can be successfully managed.

Adults should know their blood pressure numbers in the same way they know their height and weight and the only way to find out what they are is to have a blood pressure check. Free checks will be available to all adults.

A quick, painless test can mean the difference between life and death or serious disability.

Paul Newman, chief executive of the Blood Pressure Association, says: “We are delighted so many organisations are taking part in Know your Numbers! Week 2011. Everyone that takes part helps to emphasise the importance of knowing your blood pressure numbers and by offering the free checks could really be saving lives.

“During this year’s campaign, we’re stressing the fact that ‘Ignorance isn’t always bliss’. High blood pressure is a dangerous condition when not managed and we hope everyone will take advantage of the free blood pressure checks to lower their risk of stroke and heart attack.”

To find out more about the campaign visit the Know your Numbers! website at www.bpassoc.org.uk/kyn

If you have a question about high blood pressure and would like to speak to someone over the phone, call the Blood Pressure Association’s Information Line on 0845 241 0989.