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Blood pressure tackled in special week

Published on:

11 September 2017

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A new campaign has been launched to coincide with national Know Your Numbers Week. 

• Over 42,000 people in Enfield have been diagnosed with high blood pressure

• An estimated 31,000 people in Enfield have high blood pressure but don't know it

• Enfield Council's campaign aims to reduce life-threatening condition

Do you know your numbers? This is the question being asked by Enfield Council as a new campaign is launched to coincide with national ‘Know your numbers’ week, (18-24 September) which is designed to raise awareness of high blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of several serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as strokes, heart disease and heart attacks, aneurysms, kidney disease and vascular dementia.

Enfield Council has led a drive to get people to know their blood pressure by installing a special kiosk, named ‘Serena’ in the Civic Centre, to help people check their weight and blood pressure conveniently. Since its installation, the kiosk has seen more than 1,600 people use it.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Public Health, Cllr Krystle Fonyonga, said: “The stark facts about high blood pressure cases in Enfield are astonishing. Over 42,000 people have been diagnosed with it and it is estimated that a further 31,000 people are living with the condition, but not aware of it – so it goes undiagnosed and therefore untreated.

"High blood pressure has no symptoms. It can cause sudden death or leave people seriously ill with heart disease or the effects of a stroke. Healthy people build strong communities so I urge everyone to get their blood pressure checked regularly, and for those with high blood pressure, to keep it under control by taking their medication. We can all do something about this.

“I am incredibly proud of Enfield Council installing the health kiosk ‘Serena’ into the Civic Centre, which has empowered people to easily know their blood pressure as Serena has already been used more than 1,600 times this year. Enfield is one of the few boroughs where almost every doctor’s surgery has a health kiosk, where patients can quickly check their blood pressure free of charge, so don’t let the silent killer sneak up on you and get checked.”

People can reduce their blood pressure by cutting down on salt in food, avoiding foods with added salt such as in ready-made and take away meals, reducing alcohol consumption and stopping smoking. Above all, if diagnosed with high blood pressure always take the medicine the doctor has prescribed you, do not stop taking it, get regular checks and take gentle exercise.

Who is most at risk?

Your chances of having high blood pressure increase as you get older. There is often no clear cause of high blood pressure but you are at increased risk if you:
• Are overweight
• Have a relative with high blood pressure
• Smoke
• Are of African or Caribbean descent
• Eat too much salt
• Don't eat enough fruit and vegetables
• Don't do enough exercise
• Drink too much coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
• Drink too much alcohol
• Are aged over 65

If you fall into any of the groups listed above, consider making changes to your lifestyle to lower your risk of blood pressure. Also consider having your blood pressure checked more often, ideally about once a year.

Prevention and treatment

You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by:
• Losing weight if you need to
• Reducing the amount of salt you eat
• Exercising regularly
• Eating a healthy diet
• Cutting back if you drink too much alcohol
• Stopping smoking
• Cutting down on caffeine.

To find out more info visit the Enfield Council website.