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Blood Pressure Month Explained: Is it time to get yours checked?

May is Measure Your Pressure Month where people are urged to take their blood pressure reading.

Here’s everything you need to know about Measure Your Pressure Month.

What is Measure Your Pressure Month?

Measure Your Pressure Month encourages people to check their blood pressure.

This is because often there are no symptoms when people have a high blood pressure and it can be a ‘silent killer’.

The month urges people to check their blood pressure and make changes to their lifestyle if they find it is too high or too low.

What is your blood pressure and how is it measured?

Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body.

It is measured by using a machine called a sphygmomanometer.

Credit: Unsplash

A cuff is strapped around your arm and inflated with air.

A stethoscope is then used to listen to the sound the blood makes as it flows through the major artery in your upper arm.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. – NHS website

Why should people check their blood pressure?

Often people won’t realise their blood pressure being too high or too low, so people are encouraged to check it regularly.

When your blood pressure is too high, your blood vessels, heart and other organs are under extra strain.

Other organs that can be affected if your blood pressure is too high are your eyes, kidneys and brain.

If your blood pressure is too high, you could suffer a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.

Other life-threatening health conditions you could be at risk of if you have a high blood pressure include:

  • heart disease
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • aortic aneurysms
  • kidney disease
  • vascular dementia

What can cause a high blood pressure?

According to the NHS, the main reasons someone may have a high blood pressure is down to being overweight, eating too much salt and not enough fruit and vegetables, as well as not exercising enough.

Other reasons for a high blood pressure may be:

  • drinking too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
  • smoking
  • not getting much sleep or have disturbed sleep
  • being over 65
  • having a relative with high blood pressure
  • being of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • living in a deprived area

What can people do to take part in Measure Your Pressure Month?

The main way that you can take part in Measure Your Pressure Month by measuring your blood pressure.

People can also research about blood pressure and find out more about how they can improve theirs.

Residents in Medway can get their blood pressure tested for free throughout the month by visiting one of the community venues outlined by the local council.

Medway Council have set up venues such as libraries and pharmacies that locals can go to to get their blood pressure checked.

Medical information sourced from NHS website.