A new campaign to help make us aware of our blood pressure starts in September.

Heart nurses in Medway are calling on local people to get their blood pressure tested during national Know your numbers! week, which kicks off on 10 September. The cardiology team at Medway Community Healthcare is backing the campaign, led by the Blood Pressure Association, which encourages adults to get their blood pressure tested at least once every five years.

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease, as well as dementia and some eye conditions. The condition most commonly affects people who are overweight, aged over sixty-five and people of African or Caribbean descent. If treated early, medication can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of further damage to the body.

Pauline Rouse, heart failure specialist nurse at Medway Community Healthcare, explained: “You can help to keep your blood pressure low by cutting down on salt, drinking alcohol in moderation and keeping active to maintain a healthy weight.

“High blood pressure usually has no symptoms so without getting it checked you will often not know that you have the condition until your body is already severely damaged, which is why it is vital to see your GP and get your blood pressure tested.”

Top tips to keep your blood pressure low include:
• cut down on salt
• eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
• only drink alcohol in moderation, no more than 3-4 units per day for men or 2-3 units per day for women
• take more regular exercise
• maintain your ideal weight