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Local GP encourages people to be aware of the risks posed by high blood pressure

Monday, 20 May 2024 16:34

By Barbara Constable

A local GP wants more people to be aware of their blood pressure and the dangers of hypertension, describing the condition as “a silent killer”.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. If untreated, it increases the risk of serious problems like heart attacks and strokes, as well as serious kidney disease.

Across Humber and North Yorkshire, an estimated 145,000 people are thought to have undiagnosed hypertension, an issue that is being highlighted to mark World Hypertension Day.

Dr Anam Abrar, a GP at Ancora Medical Practice, said: “Around one in four adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not even realise it. Most people with high blood pressure feel fine, which is why it’s a silent killer.

“Getting your blood pressure checked and ‘knowing your numbers’ helps us identify any issues that could put you at greater risk of serious ill health. If hypertension is identified, your GP practice will then work with you to make lifestyle changes to help bring down your blood pressure.

“High blood pressure can put extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, and could potentially lead to life-threatening health conditions.”  

People who are aged over 40 and do not have a pre-existing health condition should be invited for an NHS Health Check every five years. If diagnosed with high or low blood pressure – or at a high risk of developing either – more frequent blood pressure checks may be required.

Dr Abrar, who is also the Clinical Preventative Lead in Northern Lincolnshire, added: “The good news is that checking your blood pressure is a very quick and easy process. I encourage anyone aged over 40 to contact their GP or pop into their local pharmacy for a check.”

Pharmacies offer free blood pressure checks to people aged 40 and over, with almost 300 pharmacies in Humber and North Yorkshire providing the service.

During the check, a blood pressure cuff is wrapped your upper arm to measure your blood pressure. They will then share the result with you.

Depending on the result, they might:

  • Give you advice to support healthy living.
  • Offer you an ambulatory blood pressure check, where your blood measure is measured several times as you move around, living your daily life during waking hours only.
  • Advise you to see a GP.  

If you’re registered with a GP surgery, your GP health record will also be updated following the check.

For more information about the service and to find a pharmacy which offers blood pressure checks, visit the NHS website.

 

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