To mark World Hypertension Day on 17 May 2024, Gloucestershire’s pharmacies are reminding people over 40 about the importance of having regular blood pressure checks.

The theme of the awareness day is to “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”, a message which aims to get people across the world to think about how accurate blood pressure readings can help to reduce their risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.

High blood pressure, often described as a ‘silent killer’, affects around one third of adults. As the condition rarely has any symptoms, approximately three in 10 of these cases remain undiagnosed. There are often no clues about who might have high blood pressure – the only way to know is to have a simple test.

Sian Williams, Clinical Pharmacy Lead at NHS Gloucestershire, said:

“Being aware of stats like your blood pressure is really important as it can help you to prevent conditions like heart attacks and strokes.

Your local community pharmacy can help you to understand your stats – they are experts at taking accurate blood pressure readings.

Having a blood pressure check is quick and non-invasive, and you don’t need to book in advance – just pop in to your local pharmacy and they will be happy to help.

If necessary, your pharmacist will signpost you to the appropriate health service, and they can also offer advice about lifestyle changes which could help manage high blood pressure, such as stopping smoking, improving diet or increasing exercise.”

Local GP and Chair of the Circulatory Clinical Programme Group at NHS Gloucestershire, Dr Graham Mennie, said:

“High blood pressure is a major cause of heart attacks and stroke. Around one in three adults have high blood pressure, but many don’t realise this because they often don’t have any symptoms.

Please don’t put off having a blood pressure check just because you don’t feel unhealthy or stressed. It is important to take the time to find out your blood pressure numbers and start making healthy lifestyle changes or taking medicines if you need them to help bring your blood pressure down.”

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Badham Pharmacy at Quayside in Gloucester will be promoting blood pressure testing on World Hypertension Day, 17 May 2024.

Pharmacists there will be offering advice about the importance of finding people who have undiagnosed hypertension and the important role pharmacies play in diagnosing and helping people to managing hypertension.

If you live near Quayside, call in between 8.30am – 12.30pm or 1.30pm – 5.25pm for a blood pressure test and advice.


More information

Know Your Numbers

NHS Gloucestershire supports the Know Your Numbers campaign, the highlight of which is Know Your Numbers Week which takes place every September.

Find out more about what high blood pressure means for your health and how to prevent or manage the condition on our Know Your Numbers webpage here.


What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. The diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels between heartbeats, when blood is pumped around your heart. They are both measure in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).

If you have a recent blood pressure reading use the NHS Check your blood pressure tool to understand what your reading means. You’ll also get information about what to do next.

As a general guide:

  • normal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg (this applies if it’s measured at home or at a pharmacy, GP surgery or clinic)
  • high blood pressure is considered to be 135/85 or higher if your reading was taken at home, or 140/90mmHg or higher if your reading was taken at a pharmacy, GP surgery or clinic
  • low blood pressure is considered to be 89/59mmHg or lower
  • If your reading is between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg, you may be at risk of developing high blood pressure in the future. There are things you can do to help prevent high blood pressure.

Everyone’s blood pressure will be slightly different. What’s considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else.