Under (blood) pressure

April 21, 2010, 11:01 PM GMT+0

While 78% of GB adults claim to remember the last time they had their blood pressure checked, a worrying 22% cannot, a survey conducted on behalf of the Stroke Association has found. Strokes caused by high blood pressure are often dubbed the ‘silent killer’, as many may not experience symptoms until it is too late.

According to the charity, 39% of men and 31% of women have high blood pressure, (the main cause of strokes) and it claims that 40 % of strokes could be avoided if people were checked regularly, and those with high blood pressure were properly diagnosed, allowing for the necessary steps to be taken to reduce their blood pressure and therefore the associated risks.

But it appears that many in the public are not checking their pressure regularly enough, as 23% claim that, on average, they only check their blood pressure once every two years or less. Further still, just under one in ten (nine percent) claims to have never had their pressure checked at all – with those in the South West region being the worst culprits at 14%, followed by 13% in the North East, compared to nine percent in the North West and six percent in the West Midlands.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the percentage of people who claim to have never had their blood pressure taken decreases significantly with age; one in five (20%) of those between the ages of 18 to 24 claim this but this decreases by ten times for the over 55s (two percent).

The young are not necessarily immune to the dangers of high blood pressure, as lifestyle factors such as, smoking, drinking, lack of exercise and diet (issues that are clearly relevant whatever your age) can exacerbate the problem. It can also be hereditary, meaning if someone in your family has it you are a greater risk of developing it at some stage in your life.

For survey details and full results, please click here