NEARLY 121,650 people in West Sussex have sought medical help for their high blood pressure, according to the county council. Yet these represent only a portion of the true numbers of people who have the condition, the authority says.
About one in three adults in the UK has high blood pressure, though only a third are aware they have the condition, while nationally 62,000 people each year die from strokes or heart attacks due to poor blood pressure control.
From September 10 to 16, NHS health advisors from West Sussex County Council’s three Prevention Assessment Teams (PATs) will be raising awareness of the risks of high blood pressure.
During the week members of the public will have their blood pressure taken and will be offered the opportunity to book a free NHS health check.
This comes alongside the Blood Pressure Association’s annual Know Your Numbers! Week, during which free blood pressure checks are provided for around 250,000 adults across the UK.
Know your Numbers! is the Blood Pressure Association’s flagship awareness campaign.
It encourages adults across the UK to know their blood pressure numbers and take the necessary action to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Chichester District and Bognor Regis area PAT will be holding a blood pressure event on Wednesday, September 12, at Bognor Regis Town Hall annex between 10am and 2pm. To book an appointment call 01243 642370.
Littlehampton, Worthing and Shoreham area PAT will be holding an event on Thursday, September 13 in Cricketers Parade, Broadwater Street West, Broadwater in Worthing, between 10am and 12 noon. To get in touch call 01273 268900.
The Northern area PAT will be offering blood pressure checking when it joins with Horsham District Wellbeing’s Health MOT event at the Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre, on September 13, from 10am to 3.30pm. To get in touch call 01403 229510.
Peter Catchpole, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adults’ Services, said: “It is vital that adults across West Sussex get their blood pressure checked so if there is a problem then it can be managed. The worst thing is to ignore the warning signs until it is too late.”
Sussex Community NHS Trust’s deputy chief nurse Sue Giddings said: “Sometimes called the ‘silent killer’, high blood pressure rarely has obvious symptoms, which is why it’s so important to have a blood pressure test.
“To find out more about who is most at risk and what you can do to live a healthy lifestyle go to one of these PAT sessions, speak with your GP or visit the NHS Choices website.”