Public urged to avoid the UK’s ‘silent killer’

 High blood pressure usually has no symptoms but is thought to cause 60% of strokes and 40% of heart attacks. Although one in ten Ealing residents are aware that they have high blood pressure, another one in ten do not realise that they have the condition.

People with high blood pressure are three times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke and twice as likely to die from these as people with a normal blood pressure.

That is why the council’s public health team and partners including Ealing NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, West London Mental Health Trust and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee are urging people to get their blood pressure checked during Know Your Numbers! Week, 12-18 September 2016. The national campaign is run by the charity Blood Pressure UK.

Free blood pressure checks will be available during the week at 24 blood pressure venues across borough including pharmacies, Acton Market, leisure and sports centres and Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre.

Anyone who has their blood pressure taken during Know Your Numbers week will be given their results and advised to visit a GP for further support if it is too high.

Councillor Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for health and adult services, had his blood pressure checked at Mattock Lane Pharmacy in Ealing, one of the venues hosting checks during Know Your Numbers Week.

He said: “High blood pressure is known as the ‘silent killer’ because so many seemingly healthy people don’t know they have it as there are no symptoms. Every year around 62,000 people in the UK die from stroke and heart attacks due to poor blood pressure control. Having your blood pressure checked is free, quick and painless and could save your life. I would urge anyone who hasn’t had a recent blood pressure check to do so by visiting one of our blood pressure stations or by booking an appointment at their local surgery.
“Finding out that you have high blood pressure can be worrying, but it is a condition which if carefully controlled through medication, healthy eating and other lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your chances of stroke or heart disease. Watching what you eat, being active and not smoking can also help avoid getting high blood pressure in the first place.”

Owner of Mattock Lane Pharmacy and chairman of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Hiten Patel said: “It is not uncommon, when we carry out our health and lifestyle service at our pharmacy to find patients being surprised to learn that although they are feeling generally quite well, they have registered a higher than normal blood pressure reading - emphasizing again the need to know what the long term consequences on their health could be.”

Dr Raj Chandok, Vice Chair of Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are dedicated to improving the health of our Ealing residents. High blood pressure can lead to conditions such as stroke or heart disease and sometimes simple life style changes can have a huge impact and considerably lower a person’s risk of developing these conditions.
“It is vital to know your numbers. We urge everyone in Ealing to take up this offer of a free test and we will continue to work closely with our colleagues across the health and social care sector to support interventions that raise awareness of ‘silent’ conditions such as high blood pressure.”

To find out where your nearest Know Your Numbers blood pressure check is and for advice on how to reduce your blood pressure, visit http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/