Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are eating too much salt,
not eating enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not getting enough exercise.
The charity is urging people of all ages to take action and get their blood pressure checked this week.
Around one in three people in the UK are living with high blood pressure, the single biggest cause of death – with an estimated 6.5 million people remaining undiagnosed.
Figures show the proportion of strokes in working-age people (those aged 25 to 64) have increased, despite an overall drop in the number of strokes.
In September alone, almost 9,000 people in the UK will die from a heart attack or stroke, the charity said. It’s estimated that high blood pressure is responsible for 60% of all strokes.
Blood Pressure UK said nine out of 10 strokes are preventable. It is now urging the public, regardless of age, to check their blood pressure as part of Know Your Numbers! Week.
The campaign is the UK’s biggest free blood pressure testing event held at ‘Pressure Stations’ around the country from 18-24 September.
Volunteers hosting the Pressure Stations provide information and advice on simple steps to keep blood pressure under control and will measure your blood pressure accurately.
New analysis from Public Health England’s Heart Age Test shows one in every 10 men aged 50 have a heart age at least 10 years older than they are and have a heightened risk of a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke at a younger age.
Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Blood Pressure UK, said: “High blood pressure kills thousands of people every year in the UK, and is almost entirely preventable. By lowering the population’s blood pressure even a small amount, we could save the NHS over £1billion every year.
“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
Katharine Jenner, CEO of Blood Pressure UK, said: “High blood pressure
does not discriminate on age – people are dying unnecessarily because they
fail to take such simple steps to reduce their blood pressure. Everyone is at
risk and therefore it’s essential to know your blood pressure numbers.”
Associate Professor Jamie Waterall, lead for Cardiovascular Disease
Prevention at Public Health England, added: “High blood pressure is the third biggest cause of early death and ill health in England. This is why it’s so important to know our numbers, in the same way we would know our weight or height - it is arguably one of the most important numbers we should know as adults.
To find your nearest blood pressure check, click here.