Thousands more people with high blood pressure in Havering
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:03 14 May 2018
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High blood pressure affects thousands more patients in Havering than it did eight years ago, as experts warn it may be the tip of the iceberg.
There were 37,659 patients with high blood pressure on doctors’ books in the Havering CCG area in 2016-17, the most recent year for which data is available, according to figures from Public Health England.
A Havering CCG spokeswoman said: “We know that the population is living longer and with more long term conditions and general ill health than ten years ago.
“Our GPs are also better at picking up and treating issues such as high blood pressure, which can be very serious.
“Many patients over 45 - particularly men - rarely see their GP, and we would encourage those who haven’t done so recently, to arrange to have their blood pressure checked by their doctor or practice nurse.”
Poor diet, lack of exercise and drinking too much alcohol or coffee can all increase risk of high blood pressure.
Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: ““Having high blood pressure can be deadly as, if left untreated, it significantly increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
“It’s much more common than you might think, with nearly one in three adults in the UK living with the condition. We estimate there are up to 7 million people in the UK with untreated or undiagnosed high blood pressure.”
All adults over 40 are recommended to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years.
However, the figures show that GPs in the Havering CCG had no record of a blood pressure reading in the last five years for 9.2pc of their patients over 45.
“The biggest problem with high blood pressure is that it’s silent there are rarely any signs or symptoms,” Ms Talbot added.
“That’s why its so important that people know their numbers, and seek advice and treatment if needed.”