Sir George will be encouraging constituents to find out if they are at risk of high blood pressure by having a free blood pressure test at a BPA 'Pressure Station' at Lloyds Pharmacy, Whitchurch on Wednesday, 13th September, at 11.30am, during the Blood Pressure Association’s (BPA) Know Your Numbers! Week.
Sir George will be one of thousands of people across the UK who will receive a free blood pressure check during the charity’s Know Your Numbers! Week (11-17 September) which aims to prevent stroke, heart attack and heart disease caused by high blood pressure.
Sir George Young of North West Hampshire Constituency said: “Having a blood pressure check is quick and painless, and the only way to know if you have high blood pressure. I am proud to support this important healthcare campaign for all adults to know their blood pressure numbers during the BPA’s Know Your Numbers! Week. I would urge everyone to go along to a ‘Pressure Station’ during the Week and take that first step in reducing risk of stroke and heart disease.”
During the Week, members of the public can get a free blood pressure check at hundreds of specially set up 'Pressure Stations' at locations including GP surgeries, hospitals, gyms, and pharmacies where they can also pick up information on high blood pressure - the main cause of stroke and heart disease.
Nickie Roberts, Executive Director of the BPA, the UK’s blood pressure charity, said: “We are delighted that Sir George is joining forces with the BPA to raise awareness about this important health issue.
“High blood pressure affects more than 16 million adults in the UK. With a third of those being unaware they have it, many more people should be having their blood pressure checked and taking action to lower it if it’s found to be high.
“Although high blood pressure has no symptoms, it can be treated and sometimes prevented, so there is lots we can all do to reduce our risk from this ‘silent killer’.”
The theme of KYN! Week this year is ‘Bring a Man!’, to encourage every woman who comes to get a blood pressure check to bring a man to get tested too.
“Anyone can be affected by high blood pressure, although BPA research has found that less men than women come to have their blood pressure checked during KYN! Week, so we are urging women, who are often gatekeepers of the family’s health, to bring along a
man in their lives to get a checked too,” said Nickie Roberts.
Last year around 250,000 people had their blood pressure checked during the event, with 39% of those tested having a raised blood pressure reading. The Blood Pressure Association, with the help of health professionals nationwide, aims to ensure that Know your Numbers! Week 2006 is the most successful yet.
What should your blood pressure be?
A healthy blood pressure is a level of 120/80 or less, but the lower the better, as blood pressure tends to rise with age. Everyone should maintain a healthy blood pressure to reduce risk of stroke, heart disease and heart attack. High blood pressure is diagnosed at 140/90mmHg or above, regardless of age. If blood pressure is raised at this level or above, it will need to be treated under supervision by a doctor.
BPA’s top tips to lower blood pressure:
• Eat lots of fruit and vegetables – ideally 7-9 portions a day
• Eat less than 6g of salt – watch out for hidden salt in foods like cereals, bread and processed meats and cheeses
• Be active for at least 30 minutes, five times a week
• Drink alcohol in moderation – no more than 2-3 units a day for women; 3-4 units a day for men
• Keep to the right weight for your height and lose weight if you need to
• Know your Numbers! – have regular blood pressure checks and take action if it is found to be high.
To take part in an interactive lifestyle quiz to see if your lifestyle is piling on the pressure, or for free information on high blood pressure, visit the BPA’s website at www.bpassoc.org.uk or call 020 8772 4994.