Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure (hypertension), although many will not realise it – there are rarely noticeable symptoms.
Hypertension is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide, with upwards of 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women – over a billion people – having the condition. The burden of hypertension is felt disproportionately in low- and middle-income countries, where two thirds of cases are found, largely due to increased risk factors in those populations in recent decades.
But if untreated, it is a major cause of premature death. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of potentially life-threatening health conditions, like:
- heart disease, heart attacks or heart failure
- kidney disease
- peripheral arterial disease
- aortic aneurysms
- vascular dementia
Hypertension in Lambeth
Lambeth’s Neighbourhood and Wellbeing Alliance (NWDA) want to work with people of Black African and Black Caribbean heritage to help them prevent and take control of high blood pressure – to carry out more blood pressure checks and find out more about their health needs. Data shows that just over 34% of Lambeth adults have higher than average blood pressure, and these are the communities are most likely to have worrying or potentially dangerous blood pressure problems.
We’ll run interviews and focus groups to discover more about the experiences of Black and multi-ethnic people. We’d like to hear from you if in the last 12 months you have:
- had a stroke or heart attack
- been diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), or
- been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease
- had a cardiovascular check up.
This information will help to shape any necessary changes to the patient pathway, for example making sure everyone has access to blood pressure checks, as well as the you tell us you need to improve your blood pressure control. We want to ensure that support is culturally appropriate for all communities.
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Marcia Cameron, Lambeth Council Cabinet member for Healthier Communities, said: “We’re really keen to engage with our Black African, Black Caribbean and multi-ethnic communities to understand how Lambeth health services can support them better to prevent and take control of high blood pressure.
“We believe that by helping people take control of their blood pressure in Lambeth we could prevent as many as 65 strokes, stop 48 people from developing heart failure, keep 61 people safe from heart disease and save 196 lives.”
Be part of the solution
If you’re interested in helping Lambeth & the NHS with researching high blood pressure, please contact Lambeth Together within the next two weeks
Blood Pressure Testing
- To check your own blood pressure numbers and take care of your health, see the NHS information pages on blood pressure testing.
- Get advice with hypertension management, prevention and living well
- May 17 is World Hypertension Day with a message of Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer