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One of the simplest health checks, but also one of the most important, is your blood pressure level. Find out why you should get checked regularly for high blood pressure.

How many people are affected?

Across the UK, 1 in 3 adults (around 16 million) has high blood pressure (a reading of 140/90 or higher) and this rises to at least 1 in 2 over-65s

Why is it important to measure?

Persistently high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a major cause of premature death and disability in the UK, because it can lead to strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.

If left untreated it can increase your risk of heart disease, kidney disease and dementia.

You can find out more about complications on the NHS website

Wouldn’t I know if I have high blood pressure?

You’d have thought so, wouldn’t you? However, more than 5 million people don’t know that they suffer from hypertension – this is what gives it its other name: the silent killer.

What are the risks associated with high blood pressure?

If you suffer from hypertension, you’re 3 times as likely to develop heart disease and a stroke and twice as likely to die from these, compared with a person with regular blood pressure.

What happens if I'm diagnosed with high blood pressure?

The important thing to know is that it's very easily managed once spotted. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, as well as looking at your lifestyle, your doctor may ultimately also prescribe medication, depending on the readings.

Blood pressure checking

Blood pressure checking

Professor Graham MacGregor from Blood Pressure UK explains why getting your blood pressure checked regularly is so important

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Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081