You will soon be able to get your blood pressure checked for free at your local pharmacy.
If you are over 40 years of age and live in England you will be able to have your blood pressure checked for free from October.
If high blood pressure goes undiagnosed and untreated it can lead to a stroke or heart attack. It is estimated about 4.8million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed hypertension (high blood pressure) as it rarely shows symptoms which is why it is known as the silent killer.
NHS England hope that by offering these tests around 3,700 strokes and 2,500 heart attacks could be prevented within five yearswith around 2,000 lives being saved..
Data has shown that if 2.5 million people get their blood pressure checked through this method, an additional 250,000 people could receive lifesaving treatment for hypertension.
The pharmacy check programme was first piloted in the Autumn of 2019 by the NHS.
NHS national medical director, Prof Stephen Powis, said: “The NHS Long Term Plan aims to crack down on killer conditions and this action by pharmacy teams will go a long way in helping us achieve our ambitions of saving more lives.
“More High Street heart checks for blood pressure will mean more rapid detection of killer conditions and quicker treatment for patients who need it.”
And John Maingay, from the British Heart Foundation, encouraged people to get checked: “Most people don’t know they have it until they get it measured by a healthcare professional.
“It often doesn’t present any symptoms, which is why it is sometimes referred to as a silent killer, so it’s important that you get your blood pressure checked – especially if you have a family history of heart and circulatory disease.”
Knowing your blood pressure
Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the pressure 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.
Everyone’s blood pressure will be slightly different. What’s considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else.
As a general guide:
high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80)
ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
Further details on blood pressure and lifestyle factors that can affect it can be found here: