23,000 people in Portsmouth have undiagnosed high blood pressure

NEARLY half of people with high blood pressure in Portsmouth are undiagnosed, figures have revealed.

Thursday, 15th September 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:47 pm
Edward Rees from Portsmouth gets his blood pressure checked by volunteers, from left, Celestine Jamiru, Oluwaseye Olaitan, Lisette Possi and sitting Tola Adeojo during a drop in session at Cascades in Portsmouth Picture Ian Hargreaves (161225-2)

About 49,500 people in the city have hypertension but data from charity Blood Pressure UK estimates that almost half of those (47 per cent) – 23,000 – do not know.

This week, the charity launched its campaign Know Your Numbers in the city with roadshows at Cascades Shopping Centre.

Nurses and volunteers have been taking people’s blood pressure and giving them advice on how to keep it at a healthy level.

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It is hoped to reduce the number of undiagnosed cases and make people aware of the dangers of high blood pressure.

Nurse Tola Adeojo said the response from people has been good.

‘Lots of people have been happy to have their blood pressure checked,’ she said.

‘We have had a couple of people who I have recommended to go see their doctor as soon as possible as it was quite high.

‘It is important people are aware of the risks and know if they are a risk.

‘The fact that nearly half of people do not know they have high blood pressure is very worrying.’

Retired Joan Jackson, from Southsea, gets her blood pressure checked regularly at her GP practice.

She said: ‘It is good of the charity to promote this issue.

‘I have always had problems so check mine anyway but some people would never see it as an issue.

‘It is good that the nurses are here to do it on the spot.’

Brian Lockswood, from Fratton, had his checked by the team. His was normal for someone his age.

He said: ‘I didn’t realise having high blood pressure carried so many risks. It was a relief to get mine checked and know everything was fine.’

The team from Blood Pressure UK have tested more than 100 people and will be available at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, on Clarence Street today between 9am and 5pm and Sunday between 1pm and 3pm.

Matthew Smith, acting director of public health at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘We’re supportive of any initiative which highlights the importance of blood pressure checks and helps more people to get their blood pressure checked.

‘Getting it checked is important because lowering high blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

‘You can also get your blood pressure checked if you attend your NHS Health Check.’