Grandfather urges other to check blood pressure at home as 5,500 kits to be given out in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
A GRANDFATHER-of-two who suffers with type 2 diabetes is urging others to take their blood pressure readings at home as patients in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are set to benefit from 5,500 free machines.
Retired business man Derek Tree, from Horndean, invested in a blood pressure machine so he could take his readings himself after being diagnosed with the condition.
The 74-year-old said: ‘After I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I took a strong interest in all aspects of my health.
‘I had high blood pressure and so I bought myself a blood pressure machine so I could take my readings at home and make sure I was keeping well.
‘It’s really straight forward to do – you put the cuff over your arm and then start the machine. It takes your reading and you can make a note.
‘It’s so much easier doing this at home as you’re in a calm atmosphere and can take it at times that suits you.’
It comes as GP practices across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have been given 5,500 blood pressure machines as part of NHS England’s blood pressure at home scheme.
The units enable people to measure their blood pressure at home and then submit the readings digitally. If the figures become high, action can then be taken by a GP or nurse swiftly.
Dr Rory Honney, cardiovascular disease prevention lead for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said: ‘You can check your blood pressure at home by using a personal blood pressure monitor. This enables more control over how you manage your condition and can cut down on the number of GP appointments you need to attend.
‘Readings can also be more accurate as some patients experience anxiety when attending appointments, which can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure.
‘Some practices are able to give you a free monitor; however we would encourage people who can, to buy one if it’s easier and quicker for them to monitor their blood pressure.’
Across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight more than 424,000 people are likely to have hypertension – or high blood pressure – however only 66 per cent of people will know they have it as it rarely has noticeable symptoms.
If untreated, it increases risk of serious cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes.
It's recommended that all adults over 40 years of age have their blood pressure checked at least every five years so any potential problems can be detected early.
Some things that increase your risk of high blood pressure include being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking too much alcohol or coffee.