Know your Numbers! Week is Blood Pressure UK’s flagship blood pressure testing and awareness campaign. It aims to encourage adults to know their blood pressure numbers and take the necessary action to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure. This year, around 250,000 free checks will be available across the UK, involving hundreds of nationwide organisations, at venues known as Pressure Stations.
Pressure Stations are located throughout the community including pharmacies, workplaces, GP surgeries, hospitals, health clubs, leisure centres, shopping centres and supermarkets.
Since its launch in 2001, Know your Numbers! Week has ensured more than 1.5million people have had their blood pressure checked so that they know their blood pressure numbers in the same way as their height and weight.
Its success was recognised at The Charity Awards 2008 when Know your Numbers! Week won the healthcare category.
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, which is why is it often referred to as the silent killer. The only way to know you have it is to have a check. This new campaign wishes to encourage ALL family members to check their blood pressure, so if detected, it can be easily treated, thereby reducing the risk of a stroke or heart disease.
High blood pressure is responsible for approximately 60% of strokes. The number of strokes among younger adults is increasing; as 9 out of 10 strokes are preventable, people are being urged to check their blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as:
If you have high blood pressure, reducing it even a small amount can help lower your risk of these conditions.
What the Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers. Blood pressure is a vital sign measurement that gives a reading of systolic pressure (heart pumping) over diastolic pressure (heart resting). They’re both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
As a general guide:
A blood pressure reading between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you don’t take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.
There may be no single cause, but lifestyle affects the risk of it developing, as well as other familial risks, age and ethnicity. Those over the age of 65, those of African or Caribbean descent and those who have a family history of high blood pressure are at greater risk.
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