Silent Killer: Blood Pressure

Silent Killer: Blood Pressure

1 in 3 adults in Britain have high blood pressure, that’s an estimated 16 million people, although worryingly half of them are unaware. Having high blood pressure has been described as a ‘silent killer’ by health care professionals; it can lead to heart attack or stroke but shows no symptoms.

Do you have high blood pressure?

blood pressure chart

According to Mac Bin (real name), pharmacist manager at an Asda store, high blood pressure is responsible for 60% of strokes and 40% of heart attacks as well as contributing to kidney disease and dementia. He said recent “statistics from our ‘know your numbers’ week in 2013 found 11% of 16-24 year olds and 17% of 25-34 year olds had high blood pressure”.

High blood pressure generally occurs due to a poor diet, lack of exercise and high stress levels. If detected, it can easily be managed through lifestyle changes.

Blood Pressure UK’s top 5 tips for lowering your blood pressure:

  • Reduce your salt intake: 6 grams is the maximum daily intake.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables: minimum of 5 a day (the majority being vegetables)
  • Manage your weight: ensure your BMI falls between 18.5 and 25
  • Exercise more: aim for a variety of 30 minute workouts 5 times a week (cardio, strength training, flexibility and balance)
  • Drink moderately: 3-4 units max for men and 2-3 for women