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More than 200,000 people in Wales living with undiagnosed high blood pressure

BHF CYMRU is urging people to get their blood pressure checked during May Measurement Month

More than 200,000 people in Wales are unaware they are living with high blood pressure, according to new estimates from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).[i]

If untreated, high blood pressure can significantly raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s also associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia.

High blood pressure, often referred to as a silent killer, does not usually have any symptoms, meaning that many people are unaware they are living with one of the risk factors most commonly associated with heart attacks and strokes.

However, if detected the condition can be easily treated by a combination of simple lifestyle changes and medication, depending on the individual.

BHF Cymru is urging people to get their blood pressure tested, whether at home, in a pharmacy, or a GP surgery. The charity is supporting May Measurement Month, a global research initiative, now in its third year, which aims to improve public awareness of high blood pressure.

In South Wales, five of BHF Cymru’s homeware stores will be holding events throughout May so people can visit to get their blood pressure measured. The stores in Bridgend, Cardiff, Cwmbran, Llanelli and Swansea (Llansamlet) will run sessions on the following dates and times:

BHF Cardiff home store, 62-63 Crwys Rd, Cardiff CF24 4NP:

15th May:  10:00- 16:00

BHF Cwmbran home store 13/14 Gwent Square, Cwmbran NP44 1PW:

14th and 23rd May 10:30-12:30 and 13:30-16:30.

BHF Llanelli home store 11-13 Vaughan Street, Llanelli, UK, SA15 3TS

15th May 10.00 – 13.00

BHF Swansea (Llansamlet) home store Unit 88, St David’s Retail Park SA6 8QL

15th May 10.00 – 13.00

BHF Bridgend home store, Brackla Street Centre, Cheapside, Bridgend CF31 1DD:

22nd May 10:00- 16:00

The charity says reaching people outside of hospitals and GP surgeries is key to making sure that millions of people with undiagnosed high blood pressure in the UK understand their risk and are able to get the treatment and advice they need.

It is estimated that, around 700,000 people have high blood pressure. [ii] Of these, around 2 in 3 people, or 500,000 have been diagnosed with high blood pressure by their GP in Wales.

Joanne Oliver, BHF Cymru Health Service Engagement Lead said:

“Getting your blood pressure under control is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of having a heart attack a stroke. These figures show that thousands of adults of all ages in Wales are living with untreated high blood pressure, which is a ticking time bomb that puts their future health in jeopardy.

“Having your blood pressure checked takes less than five minutes, and it is all too easy to put it on the back burner in our hectic day to day lives. That’s why we’re urging everyone to take a moment this month and get their blood pressure checked; it could ultimately save your life.”

Dr Barry McDonnell, Cardiff Metropolitan University, speaking as MMM lead in Wales said:

“We are delighted that BHF Cymru is collaborating with us on this global MMM 2019 campaign, and we hope that though this partnership we are able to widen our reach and access more people around Wales in raising awareness about the risks associated with high blood pressure. We would encourage people all over Wales to get their blood pressure measured at any of the screening sites running throughout the month of May. These can be viewed on our www.mmmwales.com events calendar.”

 For more information please visit www.bhf.org.uk/checkyourpressure

For more information on May Measurement Month, please visit http://maymeasure.com/

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