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Four million people ‘living with untreated high blood pressure’

Condition increases risk of heart attack and stroke

our million people under the age of 65 in the UK are living with untreated high blood pressure, according to estimates. 

The analysis by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) also found that 1.3 million of these people are under the age of 45.

If untreated, high blood pressure can significantly raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. It is also associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia.

High blood pressure, often referred to as a silent killer, does not usually have any symptoms, meaning that many people are unaware they are living with one of the risk factors most commonly associated with heart attacks and strokes.

However, if detected the condition can be easily treated by a combination of simple lifestyle changes and medication, depending on the individual.

It is estimated that just over a quarter of adults in the UK, around 14.4 million people, have high blood pressure. Of these, around nine million people have been diagnosed with high blood pressure by their GP.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the BHF, said getting blood pressure under control is one of the most important things someone can do to reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

“These figures show that millions of adults of all ages are living with untreated high blood pressure – a ticking time bomb that puts their future health in jeopardy,” he warned.

Professor Jamie Waterall, national lead for cardiovascular disease prevention at Public Health England, added: “High blood pressure is the country’s leading cause of heart attacks and strokes, which is why we must make it easier for people to get their blood pressure checked. If you’re over 40, getting your free NHS Health Check is a simple way to find out your blood pressure as well as your risk of other serious conditions.”