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Pharmacies around the UK are being urged to sign up from 21st May for Know Your Numbers! Week 2018 which runs from 10–16 September.

After a record breaking 2017, whereby a total of 493 pharmacies signed up to the national blood pressure testing campaign organised by leading charity, Blood Pressure UK – pharmacists are reminded about the crucial role they play during the campaign by creating awareness and providing the opportunity for customers to get tested.

Supported by a national PR campaign, Know Your Numbers! Week is the UK’s biggest free blood pressure testing event held at ‘Pressure Stations’ (which include pharmacies) around the country. The campaign encourages people to have their blood pressure measured so they can take the steps needed to maintain a healthy blood pressure and reduce their risk of debilitating strokes and heart attacks. Volunteers hosting the Pressure Stations provide information and advice on simple steps to keep blood pressure under control and will measure people’s blood pressure accurately.

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, as there are no symptoms, it is therefore important that people have their blood pressure checked and if it is high, speak to their healthcare professional and then make the necessary lifestyle changes to help them manage it.

With unhealthy lifestyles and poor diet contributing to more young people in their 30s, 40s and 50s being diagnosed with hypertension, around 1 in 3 people in the UK are now living with high blood pressure (the single biggest cause of death) – with 6.5 million1 people still remaining undiagnosed.

Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are eating too much salt, not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not enough exercise.

Interestingly, during Know Your Numbers! Week 2017, 5,810 people tested did not know their blood pressure numbers (67%) and 46% had high normal readings, classed as ‘pre-hypertension’, putting them at risk of developing hypertension unless they took action.

Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK says: “High blood pressure kills thousands of people every year in the UK and is almost entirely preventable. As an individual having your blood pressure checked is the most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.”

Hemini Bharadia – Campaign Manager for Know Your Numbers! Week says: “Pharmacists play a huge role in helping advise customers about blood pressure and getting tested. We therefore hope they will support Know Your Numbers! Week 2018 by signing up and getting involved – and possibly saving lives.”

For pharmacies wanting to sign up as a Pressure Station for Know Your Numbers! Week 2018, please visit http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/AboutKYN/KYN2018

To find out the benefits of taking part in Know Your Numbers! Week, please visit http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/Getinvolved/Benefits

1 Using the 16 million figure from PHE for England this has been extrapolated to give a figure of 19 million for the UK.

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