The Common Condition 33 Million Brits Don't Realise They Have

It could develop into dementia.
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There’s one condition that is so common amongst Brits, one in four suffer from it, according to one study. You might be surprised to know that it’s high blood pressure – and on top of that, over half of Brits have high cholesterol.

Symptoms of both conditions don’t show until they become more serious meaning millions of Brits are unaware they have them until things get bad.

As part of a significant research programme, Our Future Health, 230,000 people were tested and the findings showed that 54% of people had high cholesterol, whilst 27% had hypertension.

“Millions of people in the UK are living with undetected high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, which can put them at significant risk of a heart attack or stroke,” Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said.

Samani went on to explain the importance of treating these silent killers as soon as possible to reduce the number of people suffering or dying from both conditions.

Both conditions can lead to people developing diabetes and dementia, however, they aren’t easy to spot if patients do not have regular health checks.

High cholesterol is something six out of ten adults in England deal with, but many are completely unaware that they have it, as there are often no obvious symptoms. A blood test is usually needed to find out what your levels are.

The condition, which can be hereditary, is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. According to the NHS, it’s mainly caused by lifestyle factors, like eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol.

High blood pressure can also be caused by drinking too much alcohol and eating too much salt, as well as being overweight.

If you’re aged 65 and over, you are more at risk of developing the condition which strains blood vessels, the heart, and other organs, the British Heart Foundation says.

The study found that high cholesterol was mainly found in people aged 50 to 59 and women were more affected by the condition more than men.

However, volunteers who were older were more likely to have blood pressure as 46% of cases were found in those over the age of 80. As well as this, men were affected by the condition more as 34% of men were found to have high blood pressure compared to 22% of women.

People with significant cholesterol and blood pressure readings were told to go to the GP or pharmacist for extra help and treatment.

So, how can you make sure you’re not consuming too much cholesterol? Exercising regularly and cutting down on smoking and vaping are the main changes that can ease symptoms.

Experts say it’s also essential to eat a healthy diet, lose weight if you’re overweight and not consume too much alcohol. The same advice can be applied to reducing high blood pressure too. For both conditions you should also make sure to have regular health checks.