Wakefield Wildcats are inviting fans to have their blood pressure tested at Sunday’s match against St Helens as part of a health campaign.
Trained health workers will be on hand at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium, on Doncaster Road, after the rugby league club backed a campaign by NHS bosses to cut rates of high blood pressure.
It is estimated one in three adults – some 84,000 people – in the Wakefield district have high blood pressure, and around 30,000 people have not been diagnosed.
NHS experts say the problem can lead to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Dr John Lynagh, Wakefield Wildcats club doctor, said: “We were shocked when we discovered the number of people living in Wakefield with undiagnosed high blood pressure and wanted to play a part in finding them along with other local businesses and groups that are already on board.
“We have all been tested, now we want our fans to do the same.”
NHS bosses have launched a pilot scheme which will see people invited to more than 50 blood pressure drop-in centres which will be held around the district.
People aged over 40 are invited to have the tests and talk to specialists about ways to reduce high blood pressure, which is estimated to cause 20 per cent of heart attacks and 50 per cent of strokes.
Last year in Wakefield there were more than 1,000 hospital emergency admissions for heart attacks or strokes. In the same period 179 people died from heart attacks and 148 from strokes.
Public Health England has launched the campaign and has teamed up with Wakefield Council, the police and businesses around the district to raise awareness of high blood pressure.
Dr Lynagh added: “Anyone coming along to the St Helens game should get the quick, free test but, if you’re unable to attend, visit nhs.uk/bloodpressuredrop to find your nearest drop-in.”
The Wildcats’ match against St Helens will start at 3pm on Sunday.