Know Your Numbers! Week taking place from 6 – 12 September 2021
Did you know that you can have high blood pressure and not even know it? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, will damage your blood vessels and can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses.
Know Your Numbers! Week aims to raise awareness of the risks to having high blood pressure and how you can monitor your own blood pressure. It also hopes to increase the number of people who are monitoring their own blood pressure at home.
You can monitor your blood pressure at home, allowing you to know what is normal for you and help spot the early signs of high blood pressure. Home blood pressure monitoring is an effective and inexpensive way to keep your blood pressure under control. It gives you a way to take control of your own health with no need to visit a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist in person.
Mr David Mowbray, Medical Director for Wye Valley NHS Trust said: “The ideal blood pressure for most adults in the UK is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg and small changes within this range are normal. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help individuals to keep their blood pressure in this ideal range.
“If you are concerned about your blood pressure, then you can speak to a healthcare professional to discuss treatment and support to bring it under control. This will reduce your chance of a stroke, heart attack and other illnesses linked to hypertension.”
Dr Ian Tait, GP and Chair of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “As an individual, having your blood pressure checked is the most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure other than, where applicable stopping smoking.
“Measuring your blood pressure at home is simple and can be done at a time that is convenient for you without needing to see a healthcare professional. Keeping a record will help you and your clinician to see how your blood pressure is responding to lifestyle changes and, where relevant, any prescribed treatment.
“A one-off high reading is usually nothing to worry about but if this remains high or you are concerned about your readings, you should contact your GP practice online or by phone.”
When it comes to measuring your blood pressure at home, there are number of things you can do to ensure you get accurate readings, these are:
- Follow the instructions that came with your monitor and ensure you have the appropriate cuff for your arm size.
- Avoid things that can raise your blood pressure within 30 minutes before you take your readings (this includes smoking, exercising and drinking caffeinated drinks).
- Place the arm cuff about 2cm above your elbow and ensure your arm is supported, keeping your arm and hand relaxed.
- Keep still and quiet while you take your readings and wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Rest for five minutes before you take your readings and take two or three readings a few minutes apart.
- Keep a record of your measurements.
Blood Pressure UK have produced a detailed guide on measuring blood pressure at home which can be accessed here: http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/your-blood-pressure/how-to-lower-your-blood-pressure/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home/how-to-measure-your-blood-pressure-at-home/