There are more than 14 million adults in the UK with high blood pressure, but as many as five million are thought to be undiagnosed. Left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease
What is high blood pressure?
When the pressure of the blood in your arteries is constantly above recommended levels, this can damage the walls of your arteries and lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. It can also damage your heart muscle, causing heart failure.
Will I have any symptoms?
There are rarely any signs or symptoms and, although anyone can develop it, those at higher risk include people with a family history of high blood pressure, people from an African-Caribbean background and people living in areas of deprivation.
Can I do anything to control my blood pressure?
Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables can reduce your risk of high blood pressure. Stick within recommended limits for alcohol, cut down on salt and
try to stay at a healthy weight.
How can I monitor my blood pressure?
It’s all about knowing your numbers. Your blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). The top number of your reading is when your blood pressure is at its highest (when your heart squeezes). The number at the bottom of your reading is the pressure when your blood is at its lowest (when your heart relaxes). Unless your doctor advises otherwise, your blood pressure should be below 140 over 90. You can buy an at-home blood pressure kit in major pharmacies. For more information, visit bhf.org.uk