UP to 1.3m Brits under the age of 45 are living with untreated high blood pressure – putting them at risk of heart attack and stroke, experts have warned.
New shock figures estimate as many as four million are at risk overall.
Corbis – Getty Four million Brits – 1.3m of whom are under 45 – have high blood pressure but don’t realise, experts have warned
And worryingly, most of those affected will be clueless to the “ticking timebomb” they face.
High blood pressure is often referred to as a “silent killer”, because it typically does not have any symptoms.
It means many people are completely unaware they are at risk.
Now the British Heart Foundation, which conducted the study, is urging people to get their blood pressure tested.
This can be done in as little as five minutes at a GP surgery, pharmacy and even some train stations and football grounds.
If left untreated, high blood pressure can significantly raise the likelihood of heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia.
But the pressure and risk can be lowered though a combination of healthier diet, more exercise and medication.
The BHF estimates that slightly over a quarter of adults in the UK, around 14.4million people, have high blood pressure.
But figures show only 9.7million have been diagnosed.
Simple test could save your life
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the BHF, said: “Getting your blood pressure under control is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
“These figures show that millions of adults of all ages are living with untreated high blood pressure – a ticking time bomb that puts their future health in jeopardy.
“Having your blood pressure checked takes less than five minutes, but it is all too easy to put it on the back burner in our hectic day to day lives.
What is high blood pressure?HIGH blood pressure, or hypertension, often have no symptoms.
But if untreated, it can be life-threatening.
The only way to know your blood pressure, is to get it checked.
It’s recorded with two numbers.
The higher number is systolic pressure, or the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
The lower number, the diastolic pressure, is the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels.
As a general guide, the NHS states:
high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
ideal blood pressure is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
low blood pressure is 90/60mmHg or lower
Go to see your GP if you’re worried.
“That’s why we’re urging everyone to take a moment this month and get their pressure checked – it could ultimately save your life.”
High blood pressure is the country’s leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.Prof Jamie Waterall, from Public Health England, said: “Diagnosing high blood pressure earlier and managing it will save thousands of lives and prevent years spent in ill-health.”
Getty – Contributor High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, the British Heart Foundation warned