Ten thousand blood pressure checks keep local hearts happy

Sunday, December 15, 2019

More than ten thousand people have been tested for high blood pressure across Cheshire and Merseyside, helping them stay informed about their health and seek treatment where necessary.

Across Cheshire & Merseyside around 550,000 people are thought to have high blood pressure, including up to 150,000 people who don't yet know they are affected.[i]

High blood pressure is called a silent killer as it often doesn’t have any symptoms, but if left untreated, the condition can lead to a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.

The programme is funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and carried out by the Champs Public Health Collaborative. The programme began in August 2018 and has held a number of community blood pressure testing events, including partnering with the local fire and rescue service and investing in a mobile health kiosk, Wellpoint.

Phil Hart, Station Manager and Home Fire Safety Manager for Mersey Fire and Rescue Service said of the programme:

“The addition of blood pressure measurements to our Safe and Well Checks has been a great success and we are thrilled to have contributed towards the 10,000 checks taken across Cheshire & Merseyside. This programme has been a fantastic opportunity for Fire and Rescue staff to receive additional

training and offer this vital intervention to vulnerable members of the community in their own homes.”

People diagnosed with high blood pressure will usually be referred to their GP or pharmacist for further monitoring; the GP may recommend lifestyle changes or medication to bring the blood pressure into a healthy range.

“You can help maintain a healthy blood pressure by eating a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, and exercising regularly,” said Joanne Whitmore, Clinical Lead, BHF Implementation Programmes. “It’s also important to be aware of any family history of high blood pressure.

“Heart and circulatory disease kills more than one in four people in the UK. You can reduce your risk by checking your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly, and leading a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Dr Sarah McNulty lead Director of Public Health  for Blood Pressure with the Champs Collaborative, said: “We’re delighted to reach the milestone of ten thousand blood pressure checks across Cheshire and Merseyside – but there are up to 150,000 people in the area who don’t know they have high blood pressure.

“Over the next year we’ll be rolling out more ways to make checking your blood pressure even easier to do. High blood pressure is a real threat to long-term health – but the sooner you know about it, the easier it is to make a change.”

To have your blood pressure checked, visit your local GP or community pharmacy or visit www.happy-hearts.co.uk for details of upcoming community events.

 

[i] Health Survey for England

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