Know your blood pressure as well as you know your pin number

Patients are being urged to know their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers as well as they know there pin numbers as part of a campaign to cut 150,000 heart attack, stroke and dementia cases over the next 10 years.

Currently, just more than half (57%) of people with high blood pressure have been detected, but NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) want to raise this to 80% by 2029.

A new coalition, made up of more than 40 organisations, including health charities, want to increase the rate of testing to improve detection and treatment of the major causes of cardiovascular disease.

A target has also been set of ensuring three-quarters (75%) of 40 to 74-year-olds have received a formal cardiovascular disease risk check and have had their cholesterol recorded.

At the moment fewer than half (49%) of those eligible for the assessment have had one, PHE said.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE, said: “We know our PIN numbers but not the numbers that save our lives.

“Thousands of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by more people knowing their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and by seeking help early.

“Prevention is always better than cure.”

It is hoped that increased testing and diagnosis will allow earlier intervention, such as the prescription of statins which work by lowering cholesterol levels.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Prevention is at the heart of our vision for improving the health of the nation, empowering people to stay healthy, not just treating them when they’re ill.

“Almost half of those with high blood pressure are going about their daily lives without it being detected or treated.

“Millions of people are needlessly at risk of heart attacks or strokes when it could be prevented.

“So I want to help more people take the time out to protect their future health and get checked.”

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