It’s one of the main causes of premature death and disability.
But many people are unaware of the fact that they have high blood pressure, or hypertension.
According to Public Health England, in Leeds only 42 per cent of people with the condition have it diagnosed and under control.
That means that the remaining 58 per cent are at risk of strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and dementia.
Charity Blood Pressure UK is calling for organisations to join an awareness campaign this autumn, and especially to sign up to host a Pressure Station where people can have their blood pressure measured.
Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Blood Pressure UK said: “Having your blood pressure checked is one of the biggest steps that people can take to reduce their risk of strokes and heart attacks.
“By signing up to host Pressure Stations, organisations will be raising awareness of high blood pressure and helping people to know their blood pressure, and if it is too high people can take steps to manage it and reduce their risk of stroke.”
A third of men and over a quarter of women nationally have high blood pressure. But it is known as the silent killer, as there are no symptoms, so many people are unaware that they are at risk.
A report by Public Health England has found that diseases caused by high blood pressure are estimated to cost the NHS over £2bn every year. By reducing the blood pressure of the nation as a whole, £850m spent on the NHS and social care could be avoided over ten years.
During Know Your Numbers! Week, which starts on September 12, people are being encouraged to have their blood pressure checked.
Last year, the awareness week highlighted that one in three UK adults didn’t know what their blood was pressure and 38 per cent of people with high blood pressure had not had a check in the previous year.
The charity said that employers had an important role to play in ensuring the wellbeing of their employees, with a recent study finding workplace health promotion initiatives can help improve blood pressure levels among workers.
Dave Barnard, an occupational health technician at Bradgate Bakery who participated in the week last year said: “I was surprised at the number of people that wanted to be tested.
“Because of this event, we identified employees with raised blood pressure, who would not otherwise have been tested.”
To sign up to participate, visit www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/AboutKYN/KYN2016.
A blood pressure reading over 140/90mmHg indicates hypertension, which should be confirmed by tests on separate occasions to reach a diagnosis.
While around four in ten adults in England with high blood pressure are diagnosed and controlled to recommended levels, in Canada the rate is seven in ten, with similar resources.
In Leeds 42.5 per cent of hypertension is controlled so, a further 45,300 people in Leeds would need to receive treatment to match levels in Canada.