High blood pressure can lead to heart and circulatory disease, also known as cardiovascular disease (CVD), which causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK – the equivalent of around 2,300 deaths each month in the Midlands alone.
Community pharmacies offer a free blood pressure check service for people aged 40 and over with no previous history of high blood pressure; to find your local pharmacy, visit Find a pharmacy. Meanwhile, the City of Wolverhampton Council and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust are marking Know Your Numbers! Week by providing blood pressure checks to shoppers at the Mander Centre.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Know Your Numbers! Week is a great opportunity to engage with your own wellbeing, helping you understand the importance of things like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose.
"When these reach unhealthy levels, they can lead to serious cardiovascular disease, which is often symptomless until something serious happens – like a stroke or heart attack.
"High blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for strokes, so if you are aged 40 or over, please make sure you know your numbers and get a free blood pressure check."
Dr Nigel Sturrock, Regional Medical Director for the NHS in the Midlands, said: “High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, with a third of people with high blood pressure not knowing they have it.
"High blood pressure affects 15 million adults in the UK and is a leading cause of strokes and heart disease. Knowing your numbers is a key tool in preventing heart attacks and strokes.
“Getting your blood pressure checked at your local pharmacy, if you don’t have a history of high blood pressure, is quick and straightforward. You could add years to your life by getting the treatment or medication you need earlier.”
Blood pressure checks form a part of the NHS Health Check, offered to people aged between 40 and 74 once every 5 years.
The NHS Health Check assesses an individual’s health and identifies relatively simple lifestyle changes they could make to lower their risk of developing serious but preventable conditions such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and dementia.
To find out more about NHS Health Checks, please speak to your GP or visit NHS Health Check. Online tools are also available to enable anyone aged 18 and over to check and assess their health. For details, visit Check Your Health.
Know Your Numbers! Week, which runs until Sunday (11 September), is an annual campaign led by charity Blood Pressure UK. This year has the theme of Measure. Modify. Manage. People are encouraged to measure their blood pressure to see if it’s under control, modify their lifestyle if necessary and manage their blood pressure and health. For more details, please visit Blood Pressure UK.