This Valentine’s Day, the NHS in Leeds is urging people to show their hearts some love by thinking about their blood pressure.
In the UK, high blood pressure is the third biggest risk factor for disease after tobacco, smoking and poor diet.¹ It rarely has noticeable symptoms, but if left untreated, it increases the risk of developing serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
GPs across Leeds are supporting the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts initiative to ensure people with high blood pressure receive the care they need. The initiative aims to identify patients who may have high blood pressure that hasn’t been diagnosed, and those who need to better control their blood pressure to a safe target.
The programme is starting to show very encouraging results. In Leeds, between October 2019 and January 2020, 1413 people were newly diagnosed with hypertension, which means they can be more closely monitored. In the same period, an additional 494 people with hypertension had their blood pressure control improved to recommended treatment targets (below 140/90)
Dr Bryan Power, NHS Leeds CCG’s Long Term Conditions Clinical Lead, said: “There isn’t always an explanation for high blood pressure, but factors such as not doing enough physical activity, being overweight or obese, eating too much salt, regularly drinking too much alcohol and having a family history of high blood pressure play a role
“The good news is that it’s never too late to do something about it and start looking after your heart. We’re working with the Healthy Hearts initiative to help patients make the kinds of lifestyle changes needed to stay healthy.”
Dr Youssef Beaini, Clinical Lead for the initiative said: “We are working with doctors and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the region to help reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate alone, more than 600,000 people are affected by high blood pressure.².
“We are focusing in identifying patients with un-diagnosed high blood pressure and improving their treatment. We are really encouraged by the results we are seeing and that is all down to the hard work of GPs and nurse on the front line”.
For more information about the West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s Healthy Hearts initiative please visit www.westyorkshireandharrogatehealthyhearts.co.uk
Source: 1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-combating-high-blood-pressure/health-matters-combating-high-blood-pressure
- *Exact figure 616,636, taken from ‘Hypertension prevalence estimates, 2017 – National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network’ and published in British Heart Foundation packs – Blood pressure: How can we do better?