Blood Pressure: Are Your Lines OK?
High blood pressure (or hypertension) is often referred to as the “silent killer” because most people have no symptoms. If left untreated, it can increase your risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Recent evidence shows that it has been linked to more than 8.5 million deaths worldwide and that rates have doubled to 1.2 billion worldwide in the last 30 years.
High blood pressure affects more than 1 in 4 adults in England. It disproportionately affects people from the most deprived areas, who are 30% more likely to have high blood pressure than people from more affluent areas.
More than 4.3 million people in England with high blood pressure go undiagnosed and treated. Of those diagnosed, about half are optimally treated according to NICE guidelines. This puts a significant burden on the NHS and costs an estimated £ 2 billion each year.
High blood pressure is also linked to a 2.6 times higher chance of severe COVID-19 and a 2.5 times higher chance of death from COVID-19. High blood pressure is preventable, and for people with high blood pressure, lowering it by as little as 10 mmHg can greatly reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. This means that identifying, diagnosing, and treating high blood pressure is more important now than ever.
The 10 year old National ambitions for CVD prevention and the NHS Long Term Plan a strategic commitment to improve the detection and optimization of the treatment of three serious diseases – atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and cholesterol. This has the potential to prevent 150,000 heart attacks and strokes over the next 10 years.
The NHS Health Check program continues to provide a systematic way to detect and treat high blood pressure across England. NHS England and improvements BP @ Home Initiative that recently announced free blood pressure tests in Pharmacies, and the focus on blood pressure measurements in the Primary Care Network (PCN) Planning advice, help us get one step closer to the improved detection and management rates that other countries like Canada have shown.
This year marks the 21st Know your numbers week (6-12 September), a campaign led by Blood Pressure UK to encourage people to control their own blood pressure. This campaign aims to reach out to those at risk so that they can get the treatment and support they need.
We can all take steps to care for ourselves and others and to reduce the burden of high blood pressure on the NHS and social care by:
- Reducing salt intake
- staying active and exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight
- stop smoking
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Participation in an NHS health check-up by invitation
- Measure your blood pressure at home or when you visit your doctor or pharmacy.
Healthcare professionals can help by:
- Restoring NHS Health Checkup Program Delivery After Routine Services Disrupted During COVID-19 Response
- Using data from the upcoming CVDIMPEDE Audit to identify management improvement opportunities in your area
- Working on local PCNs to develop new treatment pathways for blood pressure detection and management
- Enabling remote monitoring of people with an existing diagnosis, e.g. B. via the BP @ Home program
- Prioritizing the supply of opportunistic blood pressure tests for people from areas with greater deprivation.
You can find more information about the Know Your Numbers Week on the UK Blood Pressure website. Please show your support by sharing messages on your networks and social media.
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