Blood Pressure

Often there is no symptoms to a high blood pressure so you could be suffering without knowing, the only way to find out is regular blood pressure checks. Around a third of adults in UK have a high blood pressure.

What is blood pressure?

Your systolic blood pressure is the top, higher number. Systolic blood pressure is the force that your heart pumps the blood around the body. Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom, lower number. Diastolic blood pressure is the resistance of the blood flow in the blood vessels. A good blood pressure should always be below 140/90. Ideally 120/80.

Blood Pressure : Blood pressure chart

What can high blood pressure lead to?

Having a high blood pressure strains the heart, blood vessels and other organs such as your brain, kidneys and eyes. Having a persistent high blood pressure can lead to a number of serious and sometimes life-threatening health conditions including:

  • Heart Attacks
  • Strokes
  • Heart disease or failure
  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Kidney disease
  • Vascular Dementia

What causes high blood pressure?

A number of lifestyle factors can lead to high blood pressure, it’s important to avoid the below risks to help minimise the potential health conditions above.

  • Being overweight
  • Eating too much salt
  • No or very little exercise
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Drinking too much caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Not getting enough sleep or a good quality sleep

A high blood pressure could be lowered by avoiding the above risks and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes medication may be needed to control your blood pressure, a GP would discuss this with you.

How to check blood pressure by hand: Methods and tips

Testing your blood pressure

You can have your blood pressure checked at home with a home monitor, it would be useful buying a monitor and keeping regular checks on your blood pressure at home to ensure it is always at a good level. However you can also have your blood pressure checked at your GP practice, a pharmacy, possibly through the workplace or as part of the NHS Health Check which you can access through us – see the NHS Health Check page for more information.

NHS Health Check - NHS