Today (Wednesday 17 May, 2023), is World Hypertension Day – with people invited to take up the offer of a free blood pressure check.

Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure. Around a quarter of adults in the UK have high blood pressure but, because it rarely has noticeable symptoms, may not realise it. 

Left untreated, it increases the risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Free blood pressure checks are offered at many local community pharmacies for people over the age of 40 who have not already been diagnosed with hypertension, without the need to make an appointment. For details of local pharmacies and to find out if blood pressure checks are available, visit Find a pharmacy.

Alternatively, people in Wolverhampton can get their free blood pressure check at the Health Hub in the Mander Centre, Upper Mall, opposite Ryman from 10am to 4pm daily.

Blood pressure checks are also offered as part of an NHS Health Check available to adults aged 40 to 74 who have not previously been diagnosed with a condition. It can help spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia and, through simple lifestyle changes, people can lower their risk of developing serious health problems. 

May is also Stroke Awareness Month and, as high blood pressure can increase the risk of having a stroke, people are being encouraged to get their blood pressure checked and to also be aware of the signs of a stroke – FAST; Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 999.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, with a third of people with high blood pressure not knowing they have it. It affects around 15 million adults in the UK and is a leading cause of strokes and heart disease.

“Getting your blood pressure checked at your local pharmacy, if you don’t have a history of high blood pressure, is quick and straightforward, and could help prevent heart attacks and strokes."