GPs in Staffordshire are urging patients to be aware of their blood pressure and understand what high blood pressure means and the potential consequences.
They also want patients to be aware that there is usually a direct link between weight and high blood pressure, with people who are obese three times more likely to have high blood pressure. Losing weight can be an effective way of lowering blood pressure for many people.
Dr Paddy Hannigan Chair of Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “High blood pressure is a key warning sign. If your blood pressure is too high it increases strain on your arteries and organs and you are at increased risk of a number of conditions such as heart attack and stroke. It is a sign that action needs to be taken.
“Some of the most effective action involves lifestyle changes rather than medication. Eating a healthy balanced diet, reducing salt intake and losing weight can make a real difference, especially for people who are overweight.”
Patients who are aged over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure tested at least every five years. Some pharmacies offer blood pressure checks. There are also a range of blood pressure monitors which are available for home use.
Dr Hannigan said: “Eating sensibly, combined with increasing activity levels, is sensible advice and will help safeguard against a range of conditions, including Type 2 Diabetes which is another of our serious health concerns.”