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Estimated 1 in 9 residents in East Lancashire have undiagnosed hypertension (high blood pressure)

The Hypertension Profiles show each local authority how well it is doing in detecting and treating high blood pressure by comparing its performance with that of similar authorities and with the rest of England.

High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for premature death and disability, and can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and dementia. Conditions caused by high blood pressure cost the NHS over £2bn every year. By reducing the blood pressure of the nation as a whole, £850m of NHS and social care spend could be avoided over 10 years.

In East Lancashire there are an estimated 95,400 people with high blood pressure, of which 51,900 have been diagnosed with the condition.  An estimated 42,000 residents have undiagnosed hypertension, which equates to 1 in every 9 people in East Lancashire.

Dr Phil Huxley, Chair at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The figures which estimate we may have around 43,500 residents who could have undiagnosed hypertension are quite shocking.  But unless someone is in contact with health services where blood pressure monitoring could play a part of the appointment, it is difficult as most people with high blood pressure are unaware because symptoms are rarely noticeable.

We don’t know exactly what causes high blood pressure but for most people it is usually a combination of things such as not being active enough, being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much salt and not enough fruit and vegetables.

However, other factors which we can’t control also play a part.  These include age, so as you get older the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle can build up and blood pressure can increase; if one of your family members has or has had high blood pressure; ethnicity as people from African-Caribbean and South Asian communities are at greater risk; and finally high blood pressure can be linked to other medical problems.  High blood pressure can affect anybody of any age, shape or form.”

If you are over 40 and have not had your blood pressure checked in the last 5 years, contact your GPpractice and ask for an NHS Health Check. This would include checking blood pressure and considering other risk factors to health such as cholesterol and sugar. Alternatively, many pharmacies are very happy to check your BP too; have a word with your local pharmacist.”

To view or download the regional hypertension profiles, visit:  http://www.yhpho.org.uk/resource/view.aspx?RID=223374