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People over 40 urged to get blood pressure checked to help prevent heart attacks or strokes

The NHS in Hertfordshire and west Essex is urging people aged 40 and over to come forward for a potentially life-saving blood pressure check.

Around one in four adults in the UK have high blood pressure, but only half of those are aware of it. High blood pressure (hypertension) doesn’t usually have any obvious symptoms, making it an invisible threat to many. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and vascular dementia. Regular blood pressure checks are essential to reduce people’s risks of developing these conditions.

Over the coming weeks, a new campaign about the hidden dangers of high blood pressure will feature on posters across Hertfordshire and west Essex as well as in local magazines and newsletters, on town centre display screens, buses and bus shelters and online. The NHS is hoping the message to ‘take a sec to check’ will reach as many people as possible aged 40 and over. People who are Black or South Asian are more likely to be at risk from high blood pressure, so if this applies to you or your family members, please do come forward for a quick, free and painless check.

More than 200 pharmacies across Hertfordshire and west Essex are signed up to provide free blood pressure checks for anyone over 40 who hasn’t had their blood pressure taken in the past six months. Find more information and your nearest participating pharmacy at: hertsandwestessex.ics.nhs.uk/bp

Anne, from Tewin in Hertfordshire, explains how high blood pressure has impacted her health. She said: “In the summer of 2021, while feeling totally fit and well, I suffered a stroke as a result of high blood pressure. I had never even considered that I may need to get my blood pressure checked. Fortunately I made an excellent recovery. It is important to get blood pressure checked as a preventative measure. Small changes to lifestyle, as well as medication in some cases like mine, can so easily prevent a catastrophic stroke.”

Information about where to get a blood pressure check, how to understand what the numbers mean if you use a blood pressure monitor at home, plus advice on how to make healthy changes to your lifestyle can be found on the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System website  : hertsandwestessex.ics.nhs.uk/bp

The ‘Invincible feeling, invisible danger’ campaign is running from 7 May 2024, and is supported by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, other NHS trusts, local councils and other organisations that form part of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System

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