OFTEN referred to as the silent killer, high blood pressure may affect as many as five million un-knowing adults.
The condition has few symptoms during the early stages — which is where Know Your Numbers Week, ending today, viene en.
The campaign encourages people to check their blood pressure and get the treatment needed to bring it under control.
If you have it, you are twice as likely to end up in hospital if you catch COVID-19.
“Many people aren’t aware they have a problem until it is too late. Having high blood pressure greatly increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Here Sindy answers your questions about high blood pressure . . .
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WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
It is the pressure of blood in your arteries. You need some pressure for blood to move around your body and it naturally goes up and down during the day — for instance, it increases while you are moving about.
When you have your blood pressure measured, you are given two figures.
The first is systolic pressure. This is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats, forcing blood around your body.
The second is diastolic pressure— the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats. Both are measured in millimeters of mercury, with the systolic value first, followed by the diastolic.
los NHS says the ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60 y 120/80.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
WHERE TO GET MEASURED?
Your GP or local pharmacy can test you for free. If it is normal you will need a check again in about five years, unless you are diabetic and then it should be once a year.
You can buy monitors to test yourself at home but don’t buy wrist or finger monitors. Go for an upper-arm cuff and make sure that it is the right size for you. They start at around £20. Recommended ones can be found on the British Heart Foundation’s online shop.
WHO GETS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HOW DO YOU REDUCE THE RISK?
Certain ethnic groups, such as those from African Caribbean or south Asian descent, are more likely to have it.
Try to do 150 minutes of moderate actividad física a week, eat more fruit and vegetables and cut down on salt.
Guidelines say adults should have no more than 6g (one teaspoon) of salt per day — that’s both what you add yourself to your meals and what is already contained in the food you eat.
CAN IT BE CURED?
If you have high blood pressure you might need medication to help lower it.
‘FELT I WASN’T AT RISK’
KEEN cyclist Adam Toms was just 47 when he suffered three life-threatening strokes due to high blood pressure.
Adán, ahora 54, from Harrow, West Londres, told Sun on Sunday Health: “I’d always been well and cycled a lot.
“But one day in February 2013 I was in my van at work, where I installed air-conditioning units, and turned to my colleague to offer half my Twix.
“The words came out all jumbled and slurred. I had three strokes that morning – one on the way to hospital.
“All of my left side was paralysed and I was in hospital for around 14 weeks.
“I’m very lucky to be alive. Even now I can only manage a half-hour walk a day. I get very tired and suffer problems with my speech. I haven’t been able to return to work.
“This is something that could have been avoided if I’d known I had high blood pressure. It runs in my family but as I felt well, I never thought I was at risk.
“Don’t risk this happening to you. The test only takes a few minutes.”
9 QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
If you answer yes to two or more questions, speak to your médico de cabecera about your risk.
- Do you frequently put a lot of salt on your food or buy processed food?
- Do you drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week?
- Are you overweight?
- Does anyone in your family have high blood pressure?
- Do you smoke?
- Are you over 40?
- Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle?
- Do you regularly suffer from disturbed sleep?
- Are you of African Caribbean or South Asian descent?