Hypertension means your blood pressure is consistently too high and as a result, your heart has to work a lot harder to pump blood around your body.
It's a serious condition, that can often lead to heart attacks or stokes, cause kidney failure, heart failure and even dementia if ignored. Hypertension rarely has any symptoms, so the only way to find out you have it and know if you're keep it in check is regular blood pressure tests.
Did you know that…
- Around 1 in 3 adults in the UK have hypertension.
- Nearly 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 44 have hypertension.
- Half of people with hypertension are not diagnosed or receiving treatment.
- In England, more than five million people that have undiagnosed hypertension.
- Hypertension is the third biggest risk factor for all disease after smoking and poor diet in the UK.
What causes hypertension?
We're not always sure why some people hypertension, but most people develop high blood pressure because of their diet, lifestyles choices like smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol or different medical conditions.
Hypertension can be genetic and run in families and can also get worse as you get older.
People who are of black African or black Caribbean decent are more likely to have high blood pressure, along with people who live in more deprived areas.
How can I reduce my risk of high blood pressure?
It's not impossible to improve your blood pressure, most of the time maintaining a healthy life style like making some changes to your diet or getting more exercise can really help!
By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Things that can help reduce your blood pressure include:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- exercising regularly
- reducing the amount of salt in the diet and having a healthy diet
- stopping smoking
- reducing alcohol intake
Get your blood pressure checked regularly
Getting your blood pressure checked regularly if you have hypertension is super important.
You can get your blood pressure checked at:
- GP surgeries
- some pharmacies
- some workplaces
- an NHS health check
Checking your blood pressure at home
Checking your blood pressure at home with your own monitor is quick and easy. In fact, you can buy one for around £20 nowadays.
Measuring your blood pressure at home is really quick and saves you time having to make an appointment and go get it checked by your doctor.
Another benefit to measuring it yourself at home is that you know what's going on and can be reassured whenever you like.