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Know your numbers

Published on:

09 September 2016

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Do you know your numbers? This is the question being asked by Enfield Council this week as a new campaign is launched to coincide with national 'Know your numbers' week, (12-18 September) which is designed to raise awareness of high blood pressure.

  • 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 to reduce life-threatening condition.

Do you know your numbers? This is the question being asked by Enfield Council this week as a new campaign is launched to coincide with national 'Know your numbers' week, (12-18 September) which is designed to raise awareness of high blood pressure.

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. 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.

"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."

To support the campaign the Deputy Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Achilleas Georgiou, got his blood checked this week by Dr Anjum Iqbal from Abernethy House practice in Enfield.

Cllr Georgiou said: "I am having my blood pressure taken just to show how quick and easy it is to do. It is painless, easy and gives vital information about your health.

"If you have not had your blood pressure tested for a while, or are in one of the high risk groups, you should pop into your local surgery and get it done. You can use one of the self-service kiosks if you wish, but don't put it off."

General precautions to control blood pressure levels are to cut down on salt in food, avoid foods with added salt such as in ready-made and take away meals, reduce alcohol consumption and stop smoking. Above all, if diagnosed with high blood pressure, take the medicine that can control it, get regular checks and take gentle exercise.

Enfield Council's commitment to tackling this issue together with NHS colleagues has already resulted in an extra 5,200 people getting their condition under control since 2008.

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

You can'find more information about cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and hypertension in our health pages.