You or a relative may have received a message from us asking for you to submit a blood pressure reading. You may be wondering why this is the case and why this is important.
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes. Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
• heart disease
• heart attacks
• heart failure
• peripheral arterial disease
• aortic aneurysms
• kidney disease
• vascular dementia
If you have high blood pressure, reducing it even a small amount can help lower your risk of these health conditions.
Often there is no one clear cause of why someone may have high blood pressure. You may be more at risk if you:
• are overweight
• eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
• do not do enough exercise
• drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
• do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep
• are over 65
• have a relative with high blood pressure
• are of black African or black Caribbean descent
• live in a deprived area
Most people with high blood pressure do not have symptoms which is why regular checks are important. This is especially important if you are over 40. If we do not have a record of your blood pressure within the last 5 years you will likely be receiving a message to submit a reading to us. If you are found to have a blood pressure outside of the normal range we will arrange appropriate follow-up and treatment if needed.
To find out more about high blood pressure please see the NHS website information page: www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension