Prioritise blood pressure checks

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Residents are being reminded to monitor their blood pressure after a study found 1 in 4 people in Doncaster have never visited a GP about it.

As the UK’s biggest silent killer, with an estimated 16 million adults affected, around one third of those people are unaware they have hypertension because there are no obvious signs or symptoms.

Cardiologist, Dr Rachael James said “Blood pressure is an indicator of overall health so it’s extremely important to monitor it regularly. High blood pressure means that your heart must pump harder and when untreated it puts a strain on the heart and major arteries. The only way of knowing if you have a problem is to have your blood pressure measured.”

The report also reveals that the age group least likely to get their blood pressure checked are 18-34 year olds with 80 per cent admitting they never get their blood pressure checked and almost half saying it has not even crossed their mind.

Almost one in four 18-34 year olds surveyed said the reason for this was because they thought high blood pressure only affected older people. A further 17 per cent said they feel they would be wasting their GP’s time. However, 1 in 3 people say that an at home device would encourage them to check their blood pressure.

Men were also nearly twice as likely not to get their blood pressure checked compared to women with 63 per cent admitting they don’t worry about their blood pressure despite knowing it’s important.

Dr James continues: “While the over 55s are most at risk, any adult can suffer from high blood pressure no matter what age or gender. It’s more common in people who are obese, consume a lot of salt, have a strong family history of hypertension and in those who consume excess alcohol. Hypertension is also more common in people who are from African-Caribbean and South Asian communities. In addition to having your blood pressure checked by a medical professional, an at home blood pressure monitor can be a positive step to taking control over your health.”

If you are concerned about your blood pressure visit your local GP or you can purchase a HoMedics Blood Pressure Monitor at the Doncaster Boots store in the Frenchgate Centre or from www.boots.com