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‘Invincible feeling, invisible danger’ – New NHS campaign urges people to get their blood pressure checked

Health / Tue 11th Jun 2024 at 02:41pm

THE NHS in Hertfordshire and west Essex is urging people aged 40 and over to come forward for a potentially life-saving blood pressure check.

Around one in four adults in the UK have high blood pressure, but only half of those are aware of it. High blood pressure (hypertension) doesn’t usually have any obvious symptoms, making it an invisible threat to many. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and vascular dementia. Regular blood pressure checks are essential to reduce people’s risks of developing these conditions.

Over the coming weeks, a new campaign about the hidden dangers of high blood pressure will feature on posters across Hertfordshire and west Essex as well as in local magazines and newsletters, on town centre display screens, buses and bus shelters and online. The NHS is hoping the message to ‘take a sec to check’ will reach as many people as possible aged 40 and over. People who are Black or South Asian are more likely to be at risk from high blood pressure, so if this applies to you or your family members, please do come forward for a quick, free and painless check. 

More than 200 pharmacies across Hertfordshire and west Essex are signed up to provide free blood pressure checks for anyone over 40 who hasn’t had their blood pressure taken in the past six months. Find more information and your nearest participating pharmacy at: hertsandwestessex.ics.nhs.uk/bp

Dr Jane Halpin, Chief Executive of NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: “Getting your blood pressure checked could save your life. You may look and feel healthy, but high blood pressure rarely has symptoms. We know that there are thousands of people in our area who have high blood pressure but don’t know it. Left untreated, there is a risk of serious illness.  Raised blood pressure can usually be treated very successfully.   

“It’s so important for people to know about this and come forward for a quick, easy and painless check. Being aware of your blood pressure and taking simple steps to improve your health can dramatically reduce the chances of serious events such as a heart attack or stroke.      

“We are working with hospitals and community health services to offer more blood pressure checks in routine appointments.  Our GP practices are identifying people who might be at greater risk of high blood pressure.  If you are over 40 and don’t know what your blood pressure is, go to a local pharmacy today to have it checked. It could be a life-saving trip.”

Anne, from Tewin in Hertfordshire, explains how high blood pressure has impacted her health. She said: “In the summer of 2021, while feeling totally fit and well, I suffered a stroke as a result of high blood pressure. I had never even considered that I may need to get my blood pressure checked. Fortunately I made an excellent recovery. It is important to get blood pressure checked as a preventative measure. Small changes to lifestyle, as well as medication in some cases like mine, can so easily prevent a catastrophic stroke.”

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Information about where to get a blood pressure check, how to understand what the numbers mean if you use a blood pressure monitor at home, plus advice on how to make healthy changes to your lifestyle can be found on the ICB’s new website: hertsandwestessex.ics.nhs.uk/bp

The ‘Invincible feeling, invisible danger’ campaign is running from 7 May 2024, and is supported by NHS trusts, local councils and other organisations that form part of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System

If you would like to receive posters to raise awareness of the importance of getting a blood pressure check, please email: [email protected]      

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1 Comment for ‘Invincible feeling, invisible danger’ – New NHS campaign urges people to get their blood pressure checked:

David Forman
2024-06-13 00:16:55

I know that publication of Labour's manifesto sent my blood pressure rising. Starmer's snide remarks about Corbyn sent it rocketing. Must see the GP in the morning.

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