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September 2018 – Blog on Know Your Numbers! Week; 10-16 September 2018

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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:

  • heart disease
  • heart attacks
  • strokes
  • heart failure
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • aortic aneurysms
  • kidney disease
  • vascular dementia

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:

  • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
  • ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
  • low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower

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.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

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.

Try to:

  • eat the recommended 5 a day of fruit and vegetables
  • reduce salt consumption (consider using the free, award-winning FoodSwitch app to help make healthier food choices)
  • increase physical activity
  • reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • reduce consumption of alcohol or caffeine-based drinks
  • get enough uninterrupted sleep

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Catch up with Lucy Sherry’s previous blog posts

August 2018 – Blog on World Breastfeeding Week; 1-7 August 2018
July 2018 – Blog on World Hepatitis Day; 28 July 2018
June 2018 – Blog on Carers Week; 11-17 June 2018
May 2018 – Blog on Stay Healthy, Stay Walking
April 2018 – Blog on Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM)
March 2018 – Blog on the Importance of Good Oral Health
February 2018 – Blog on World Thinking Day – 22nd February
January 2018 – Blog on Losing Weight with The High Calcium Diet
December 2017 – Blog on World AIDS Day 2017
November 2017 – Blog on Antibiotic Resistance – Causes, consequences and how you can help
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October 2017 – Blog on Why Eating Curry is Good for Your Health
September 2017 – Blog on Challenge the Stigma of Dementia
August 2017 – Blog on Road Victims Awareness Month – August 2017
July 2017 – Blog on Group B Strep Awareness Month
June 2017 – Blog on Brain Food!
May 2017 – Blog on Why Eating Less Meat Could Help Save the Planet!
April 2017 – Blog on the EWG’s Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen
March 2017 – Blog on Going Sugar-free this Lent
February 2017 – Blog on Antibiotics in Animal Feed & the Rise of the Superbug; 1 Reason Why I was Vegetarian!
January 2017 – Blog on Alcohol; a harmless social escape or a dangerous poison?
December 2016 – Blog on Our annual Christmas binge & January famine!
November 2016 – Blog on Battling Stress at Work
October 2016 – Blog on The Taboos About Men’s Mental Health

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