One in three people in the UK live with high blood pressure, which is the single biggest cause of death. However many remain undiagnosed.
To help save lives, Blood Pressure UK is urging the public to attend regular blood pressure checks.
It is estimated that by doing this a staggering 45,000 cases of stroke, heart attack and heart failure could be prevented over the next 10 years, saving the NHS more than £1billion.
Research from Blood Pressure UK also revealed that people from the most deprived areas are 30% more likely to have high blood pressure, than those in the least-deprived areas.
Wyre Forest, Birmingham, Leeds and County Durham were found to be “hypertension hotspots” and it is estimated that over half a million people in these towns and cities have undiagnosed high blood pressure.
Raised blood pressure is known as the ‘silent killer’ because there are no symptoms until you have a stroke, heart attack or heat failure.
Even in those who survive, it can cause severe disability, dementia and heart failure.
Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Blood Pressure UK, said: “Blood pressure is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions and yet it is still one of the leading causes of death in the UK. Those from poorer backgrounds are worse off.
“Having your blood pressure checked is one of the biggest steps that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure and yet so many millions are taking unnecessary risks with their health.
“The simple message is have your blood pressure checked at least once a year.”
Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are salt intake, obesity, lack of fruit, vegetables and exercise.
As part of its new ‘Know Your Numbers’ campaign, the charity has set up Pressure Stations across the country from 12-18 September where people can have their blood pressure taken and be given tips for keeping it under control.
Jamie Waterall, national lead for cardiovascular disease prevention at Public Health England, said: “Getting a blood pressure check is particularly important for people over the age of 40, when cardiovascular risk generally increases.
“Going to your NHS Health Check appointment when invited is just one of the ways you can know your numbers and get an idea of your heart health.
“Know Your Numbers! Week is a fantastic prevention initiative. We are happy to be supporting this by setting up blood pressure stations for staff to use in some of our PHE sites.”