How Knowing Your Numbers reduces your health risks

on Wednesday, 25 August 2010. Posted in N21 Experts



The Blood Pressure Association is running a campaign called 'Know Your Numbers' from September 13th - 19th, to encourage people to be more aware of their blood pressure readings. Now in its tenth year, this is an important health campaign, because one in three adults, that is sixteen million people in the UK have high blood pressure and high blood pressure is the biggest known cause of premature death and disability in the UK due to the strokes, heart attacks and heart disease it causes. It is also a risk factor for kidney disease and dementia.


The numbers refer to the way that blood pressure is measured, in ‘millimetres of mercury’ (mmHg) and is written as two numbers. The upper or Systolic figure measures the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats and the lower number, the Diastolic is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats. For example, if your reading is 120/80mmHg, your blood pressure is ‘120 over 80’.

You probably have high blood pressure (also referred to as hypertension) if your blood pressure readings are consistently 140 over 90, or higher, over a number of weeks. High risk groups include the over 55s, people of African Caribbean descent, and people of South Asian origin who are more prone to other vascular conditions and if you have a family history of high blood pressure.


More than 5 million people don't know they have high blood pressure - that's why it's called the silent killer. That's why this is an important campaign. For most people, there may be no single cause for their high blood pressure, but your diet and lifestyle can affect your risk of developing it. You are at a higher risk if:

     you eat too much salt;
     you don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables;
     you are not active enough;
     you are overweight; or
     you drink too much alcohol.


You can help to lower your blood pressure - and your risk of stroke and heart attack - by making lifestyle changes.


The first step is to have your blood pressure measured. Community pharmacies are taking an active part in the 'Know Your Numbers' campaign and Atkinson's in The Grangeway, Grange Park is offering a free blood pressure check. It only takes a few minutes and we understand that some people suffer from 'white coat syndrome, which raises their blood pressure because they are anxious about having it checked.

The Blood Pressure Association website has a lot of helpful information on managing blood pressure problems, www.bpassoc.org.uk

There are lots of ways in which high blood pressure can be controlled these days and 'Knowing Your Numbers' can help you to reduce your risks. Feel free to drop into the chemist for confidential advice on blood pressure or other health concerns. Our opening hours are Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm.


Illa Paun
Atkinsons Chemist
20 The Grangeway
N21 2HG

020 8360 1671

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The Blood Pressure Association is running a campaign called 'Know Your Numbers' to encourage people to be more aware of their blood pressure readings. Now in its tenth year, this is an important health campaign, because one in three adults, that is sixteen million people in the UK have high blood pressure and high blood pressure is the biggest known cause of premature death and disability in the UK.

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