Nearly two thirds of the population are ignoring the simplest step in reducing their risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure by not knowing their blood pressure numbers, according to a startling new national survey.
Conducted by charity Blood Pressure UK, the study found a significant 28.60 per cent of respondents in the South East consider going out with friends and socialising more of a priority than having their blood pressure taken.
What’s more, 19.30 per cent would rather watch TV and a further 6.10 per cent would opt to watch football instead.
40 per cent of people surveyed are more concerned about other ailments – and the subsequent effects on their health – than knowing their blood pressure numbers.
When it comes to knowing your blood pressure numbers, a staggering 68.20 per cent of people do not know theirs, with 11.30 per cent thinking a healthy blood pressure reading is 130/80 which implies pre-high blood pressure, compared to an ideal blood pressure reading of 120/80.
Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK says: “High blood pressure kills thousands of people every year in the UK and is almost entirely preventable. It’s imperative that everyone, including children, has their blood pressure taken at least once a year and more regularly if it’s a high reading in consultation with their GP.”
Known as the ‘silent killer’, people with high blood pressure usually do not have any symptoms, making it vitally important people have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
Many doctor surgeries have a blood pressure machine in the waiting room or in reception, and small machines are available to buy from shops to use at home.
With unhealthy lifestyles and poor diet contributing to more young people in their 30s, 40s and 50s being diagnosed with hypertension, around one in three people in the UK are now living with high blood pressure – with 6.5 million people still remaining undiagnosed.
Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are eating too much salt, not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not taking enough exercise.