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More than half Brits might suffer from hypertension – signs

Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure

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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often dubbed as a “silent killer” due to its ability to quietly wreak havoc in your arteries. The condition can put you at a risk of severe health problems without ringing many alarm bells. Furthermore, new data shows that more than half of the UK population might be unaware of having a high reading.

According to a new poll by Blood Pressure UK, only 45 percent of the UK population had their blood pressure levels checked in the last 12 months.

This leaves 56 percent of Britons that don’t know their blood pressure digits. What’s worse, they could be suffering from the condition unknowingly.

Today, the charity is urging all adults – no matter their age – to get their blood pressure checked.

Blood Pressure UK explains that the more people get tested, the “more premature deaths will be prevented”.

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“With nearly six million people in the UK sitting on a ticking time bomb unaware that they have raised blood pressure, the only way of knowing what your blood pressure is, is to measure it,” said the charity in a statement.

While blood pressure rarely causes warning signs, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) shares some symptoms that might occur.

According to the heart charity, the tell-tale signs to spot include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches.

Although any of these signs could be pointing to hypertension, many patients with the condition “feel fine”, the BHF explains.

As you don’t necessarily have to suffer from symptoms, the most reliable way of finding your levels is by getting them checked.

BHF recommends getting checked at least once every five years if you’re a healthy adult over 40.

However, if you’re at a higher risk of hypertension, you should aim to have your reading done once a year.

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Phil Pyatt, CEO of Blood Pressure UK, said: “Everyone needs to take control of their health by checking their blood pressure, especially given high blood pressure does not show any clear symptoms, hence being dubbed the ‘silent killer’.”

The charity has also urged Britons to cut back on their salt intake as the common ingredient is considered to be a major trigger for high blood pressure.

It added: “As a nation, if we cut one gram of salt from our average daily salt intake, this would cause a fall in blood pressure and there would be approximately 6,000 fewer deaths from strokes and heart attacks each year in the UK.”

Furthermore, your salt shaker isn’t the only source of this seasoning as salt is hidden inside the foods you buy in the supermarket. That’s why Blood Pressure UK urges people to look at the nutritional information.

The new poll looking at Britons without blood pressure reading has been released as a part of Blood Pressure UK’s Know Your Numbers! Week.

Starting on September 5, the charity aimed this week at getting the nation tested.

If you haven’t got a blood pressure monitor at home, you could also visit one of their venues to get a free check-up.

The charity will be visiting five cities across the UK, including:

  • 5th September Dortmund Square – Leeds
  • 6th September Market Street – Manchester
  • 7th September Royal Albert Dock – Liverpool
  • 8th September High Street – Birmingham
  • 9th-11th September – Chestnut Plaza Westfield Stratford.

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