Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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FREE Blood Pressure Testing for Merseyside residents as part of Know Your Numbers! Week

FREE Blood Pressure Testing for Merseyside residents as part of Know Your Numbers! Week

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Merseyside Fire & Rescue is urging local residents to get their blood pressure checked for FREE as part of Know Your Numbers! Week – the UK’s biggest free blood pressure testing event held at ‘Pressure Stations’ around the country between 18-24 September 2017.

Shockingly 163,0001 people in Merseyside are estimated to have high blood pressure and don’t know it. High blood pressure has no obvious symptoms but it is linked to at least 50% of all strokes and heart attacks and increases the risk of kidney disease and dementia.

Many pharmacies across Merseyside can provide information and advice on simple steps to keep blood pressure under control and will measure your blood pressure accurately. A blood pressure check is quick, free, painless and could save your life. You can also have a free blood pressure check in your GP surgery or use a home testing kit.

There are over 70 checking stations to visit in the Merseyside area. You can find your nearest local blood pressure checking station online by visiting:

This year, Blood Pressure UK cautions that a poor diet and excess salt intake is leading more young people to develop high blood pressure putting them at risk of having an early stroke. Help to STOP stroke and other illnesses by knowing your numbers just like you know your height and weight.

Figures show the proportion of strokes in working age people (those aged 25 to 64) has increased2,3 despite an overall drop in the number of strokes. Blood Pressure UK is also encouraging people to check their blood pressure as part of Know Your Numbers! Week.

Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are largely lifestyle-related such as eating too much salt, not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not taking enough exercise.

Blood pressure can be lowered by changes to your lifestyle and if necessary taking medication as directed by your doctor.

Phil Byrne, Station Manager in Community Risk Management for Merseyside Fire and Rescue, said: “Blood pressure is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions but remains one of the leading causes of death. Our message to local residents is to take charge of their health and get their blood pressure checked regularly.

"In supporting the work of our Public Health Colleagues and helping to make communities of Merseyside safer and stronger, our specially trained Fire Prevention Advocates will shortly be offering people the chance to have their blood pressure checked in their own home as part of our Safe & Well visits.

"This quick and simple check will help identify those people who are not aware they have high blood pressure and enable us to sign post them to the appropriate health care.”

Shefalee Loth, Nutritionist at Blood Pressure UK says: “Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in younger patients with high blood pressure, often as a result of too much salt and poor diet. If you start making small changes to your lifestyle when you are young, such as eating less salt, more fruit and vegetable, taking more exercise and keeping to a healthy weight, you will stay healthier and prevent strokes and heart disease.”

For further information on Blood Pressure UK and Know Your Numbers! Week, go to:

About Blood Pressure UK

Blood Pressure UK is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity working to lower the nation’s blood pressure to prevent disability and death from stroke and heart disease. The charity provides information and support for people with high blood pressure and raises awareness to prevent the condition. Blood Pressure UK is the operating name of the Blood Pressure Association, charity reg. 1058944.

Blood Pressure UK’s ‘Top five tips for a healthy blood pressure’:
1. Cut down on salt – Reducing your salt intake is the quickest way to lower your blood pressure. Don’t add it when cooking or at the table, avoid using stock cubes, gravy and soy sauce, check food labels and avoid processed foods high in salt – aim to eat less than 6g a day.
2.Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least five different portions every day.
3.Watch your weight – try to reach the right weight for your height.
4.Exercise regularly – that doesn’t have to mean the gym, how about a regular lunchtime walk? 30 minutes five times a week is ideal. If you are unsure about taking up exercise, ask your GP.
5.Drink alcohol in moderation – up to 14 units a week for both men and women – a glass of wine or a pint of beer is 2-3 units.

1 Source : Hypertension prevalence estimates, October 2014, Public Health England.
2 has increased from 16.91% to 17.94% between 2013-2016 using ONS Death registrations summary tables - England and Wales 2008-2016 and NHS Digital, Hospital Episode Statistics for England. Admitted Patient Care statistics, 2013-16
3 Age and ethnic disparities in incidence of stroke over time, The South London Stroke Register. Wang, Y et al. Stroke. 2013;44:3298-3304

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