Up to 115,000 people at risk of heart attack - Mayor of Wakefield says get your blood pressure checked

8th June 2011'Janet Holmes is standing for re-election in the Horbury by-election.' PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
8th June 2011'Janet Holmes is standing for re-election in the Horbury by-election.' PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

Tens of thousands of people around the district have undiagnosed high blood pressure and are at risk of heart attacks and strokes.

That is the message from NHS bosses who have launched a pilot scheme to encourage people aged over 40 to have their blood pressure tested and get advice on having healthier lifestyles.

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.

The pilot scheme will see people invited to more than 50 blood pressure drop-in centres which will be held around the district from Monday.

Mayor of Wakefield Coun Janet Holmes, whose husband Brian died suddenly last October aged 75, said: “Having experienced a heart attack myself and losing my husband to the same condition last year, I know first-hand the importance of getting your blood pressure checked.

“It could save your life, it’s as simple as that. It’s a painless, five-minute test that will be widely available across the whole of Wakefield over the coming four weeks.”

High blood pressure 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 Andrew Furber, Wakefield’s director of public health, said: “There is often no clear cause of high blood pressure, however there are several risk factors including being overweight, drinking a lot of alcohol and a lack of exercise.

“If you are 40 and over and haven’t had your blood pressure checked recently, visit nhs.uk/bloodpressuredrop and find your nearest blood pressure drop in today.”