Rugby player and cricket fans join blood pressure campaign

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The campaign comes as today marks the start of Blood Pressure Awareness Week

Author: Oliver MorganPublished 9 minutes ago

Rugby players and cricket fans are joining the NHS’ blood pressure check campaign here in the South West.

It’s part of a drive to prevent strokes and heart attacks – the Cornish Pirates and Somerset Cricket Club joining pharmacies in offering free checks at matches in September.

They’re urging everyone over 40 to come forward – and say it could save your life.

It’s as today marks the start of Blood Pressure Awareness Week, which is a national campaign, urging us all to ‘know your numbers’ in a bid to get more of us to seek the treatment and support needed to bring it under control.

Today’s announcement comes as we learn one in three adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not realise it.

In the South West, identifying an additional 83,700 people with high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension, could prevent 503 heart attacks and 749 strokes, saving the NHS approximately £14 million.

‘Getting your blood pressure tested could save your life’

Dr Michael Marsh, Regional Medical Director for NHS England South West, said: “High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if left untreated, it increases problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

“Getting your blood pressure tested is easy to do and could save your life. You can either go to your local community pharmacy or measure it yourself at home with a cheap and easy-to-use machine.

“Once you know your blood pressure is too high, the NHS can give you advice on how to start bringing it down.

“You might not necessarily need medication as there is a lot you can do to reduce blood pressure by making healthy lifestyle changes.”

Community pharmacies and some libraries across the South West are offering people the chance to loan blood pressure monitoring kits – just like you would do when taking out a book – so you can check yours in the comfort of your own home.

Sports venues are also getting involved this month by offering blood pressure checks at their games.

Fans will be able to get their blood pressure checked when the Cornish Pirates play Bath Rugby on Friday (8 September).

For cricket fans they will also have an opportunity to have their blood pressure check at the final championship fixture of Somerset County Cricket Club on 19 September.

For more information on the importance of a blood pressure check, knowing what those number mean and what to do next visit the NHS website.

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