About 40% of UK adults were found to have high blood pressure during a nationwide test of almost a quarter of a million people.
People with high blood pressure are three times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than those with healthy blood pressure.
The Blood Pressure Association (BPA) tested 253,000 people last year and found the nation’s ‘hot spots’ were the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside. In both areas, 45% of people tested had the problem.
London was lowest
Overall, people in Wales and Northern Ireland were more likely to have high blood pressure than those in England or Scotland. The lowest incidence was in London.
BPA Medical Adviser Dr Mike Mead said: ‘High blood pressure is a serious health condition. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the biggest cause of death and disability through the strokes and heart attacks it causes. But this is preventable.’
He urged everyone to have a blood pressure check and lead a healthier lifestyle.
The BPA’s tips for lowering your blood pressure are:
- eat lots of fruit and vegetables – ideally more than five portions a day
- eat less than 6g of salt a day – check food labels and don’t add salt to your cooking
- be active for at least 30 minutes, five times a week
- drink alcohol in moderation – 3-4 units a day for men, 2-3 units for women
- keep to the right weight for your height, and lose weight if you need to.
For a free information pack, you can visit the BPA website or call 020 8772 4994