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People urged to get their blood pressure checked

ALMOST 50,000 people in Liverpool are at risk of a stroke, heart attack or kidney disease in Liverpool because they do not know they have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the most common long term health condition, and 2nd only to smoking as the highest risk factor in causing death in all ages for the North West of England.

As part of national 'Know Your Numbers' week, running from 10 September to 16 September 2018, organised by Blood Pressure UK, Public Health Liverpool is teaming up with Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, the Stroke Association and PSS to raise awareness and encourage people to check their blood pressure.

The initiative is being backed by Ian Collins, 58, who had a stroke in his sleep 11 years ago. He woke up and couldn't walk or use the right side of his body. He was forced to leave his job as a joiner, where he was working long hours to support his family.

After being supported by the Stroke Association during his recovery, Ian now volunteers for the charity. He is a stroke ambassador and chairs the charity's Merseyside Life After Stroke Group, supporting many stroke survivors across Merseyside with social activities.

Ian said:- "A stroke can be devastating but in many cases can also be preventable, simply by having your blood pressure checked.  I would encourage everyone to monitor their blood pressure and have regular checks. I was too late getting mine checked out and sadly, went on to have a stroke because of it. As well as taking medication to keep my blood pressure down, I have also cut back on salt and try to drink in moderation."

It is estimated that there are almost 50,000 people in Liverpool at an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease due to undiagnosed high blood pressure.

Over the next few weeks, staff from Public Health Liverpool will be visiting supermarkets and community events, while 18 pharmacies will be offering free blood pressure checks.

Liverpool's Director of Public Health, Sandra Davies, said:- "High blood pressure is a silent killer and many people just do not know that they are at risk. It can be a ticking time bomb and lead to serious conditions such as a stroke or heart disease, but the good news is that it can easily be treated by improving diet, losing weight and being more active.  That's why we're encouraging people to know their blood pressure numbers, in the same way they know their height and weight, as well as encouraging their family and friends to do the same."

Top 5 tips for healthy blood pressure:-

►  Cut down on salt, an adult should eat less than 6g (just over 1 teaspoon) of salt a day. Check food labels and try to avoid processed foods that are high in salt.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, at least 5 different portions every day. Frozen, canned, dried as well as fresh, all count.

►  Watch your weight, try to reach the right weight for your height.

►  Be active, that doesn't have to mean the gym, it could be as simple as a walk most days for at least 10 minutes and aiming to build up to being active for 30 minutes each day.

►  Drink alcohol in moderation, up to 14 units a week for both men and women (a glass of wine or a pint of beer is 2 to 3 units) spread across 3 or more days.

Liverpool Life & Landscape

LIVERPOOL Central library is hosting a series of 5 interactive seminars focusing on life in Liverpool and other pivotal moments in our City's rich history. The seminars will include collections of original archives housed within Liverpool Central Library.

Each lecture will cover a different topic:-

►  'Liverpool - A Port on the Mersey' talk, on Thursday, 4 October 2018, from 2pm to 3.30pm.

►  'Liverpool and Slavery' talk, on Thursday, 11 October 2018, from 2pm to 3.30pm.

►  'Liverpool - How The Poor Lived' talk, on Thursday, 18 October 2018 from 2pm to 3.30pm.

►  'Liverpool - How The Wealthy Lived' talk, on Thursday, 25 October 2018 from 2pm to 3.30pm.

►  'Liverpool - A History In Maps' talk, on Thursday, 1 November 2018 from 2pm to 3.30pm.

There are limited places available and booking is strongly advised. Bookings can be made by emailing:- Roger.Hull@Liverpool.Gov.UK and stating your name, contact number and which course you would like to book onto, or by visiting us directly at Liverpool Central Library.

Each seminar costs ₤25, or a block booking of all 5 lectures will be offered at a discounted price of ₤100. Payment can be made via cheque/postal order, payable to Liverpool City Council. Alternatively cash/credit/debit card can be paid in person at Liverpool Central Library, until 28 September 2018. Refunds are not available.

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