Free blood pressure checks

Sefton Council and the local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are urging local residents to get their blood pressure checked for free as part of Know Your Numbers! Week. This is the UK’s biggest free blood pressure testing event held at ‘Pressure Stations’ around the country from September 18-24.

Shockingly, 30,0001 people in Sefton have high blood pressure and don’t know. High blood pressure has no obvious symptoms but it is linked to at least 50% of all strokes and heart attacks and increases the risk of kidney disease and dementia.

Some pharmacies across Sefton will provide information and advice on simple steps to keep blood pressure under control and will measure your blood pressure accurately. A blood pressure check is quick, free, painless and could save your life. You can also have a free blood pressure check in your GP surgery or use a home testing kit.

This year, Blood Pressure UK cautions that a poor diet and excess salt intake is leading more young people to develop high blood pressure putting them at risk of having an early stroke. Help to stop stroke and other illnesses by knowing your numbers just like you know your height and weight.

Figures show the proportion of strokes in working age people (those aged 25 to 64) has increased from 16.91% to 17.94% between 2013-2016 despite an overall drop in the number of strokes. Blood Pressure UK is urging people, regardless of age, to check their blood pressure as part of Know Your Numbers! Week.

Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are largely lifestyle-related such as eating too much salt, not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not taking enough exercise.

Living Well Sefton is the local wellbeing organisation and its community partners offer a variety of activities, courses and sessions to improve lifestyles which improve overall wellbeing.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Health and Wellbeing, said:

“The message to people is to take charge of their health and get their blood pressure checked. Blood pressure is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions but remains one of the leading causes of death. As an individual having your blood pressure checked is the most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.”

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“It’s so important to get regular blood pressure checks and this week and throughout the year we remind people to do so. The fact that you can pop into some of Sefton’s pharmacies for a free test is ideal so we do hope Sefton residents take up this opportunity.

“Blood pressure can be lowered by changes to your lifestyle and if necessary taking medication as directed by your doctor. Your pharmacist can advise you following your test if you need to take further action.”

Some pharmacies in Sefton will be offering free blood pressure checks, to find your nearest pressure station please visit: http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/Freebpchecks/Findfreecheck

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