During this year’s campaign, the Blood Pressure Association is urging all adults to
take action to avoid the blood pressure ‘time bomb’.
There are currently 16 million adults in the UK with high blood pressure, but at least five million of them don’t know it because the condition doesn’t have obvious symptoms.
High blood pressure – often referred to as the silent killer – is the major cause of
strokes and heart attacks; it also causes dementia, kidney disease, disability and
even death. People with uncontrolled high blood pressure are three times more likely
to die from a stroke or heart attack than someone with a healthy blood pressure.
High blood pressure is raised two-threefold in the African Caribbean community,* -legendary soul singer Isaac Hayes died from a stroke related to high blood pressure -and almost 45 per cent of African-Caribbean men and 40% of African-Caribbean women are affected by the condition.**
According to the Blood Pressure Association, this is thought, in part, to be due to traditional Africa-Caribbean dishes being high in salt, which raises blood pressure.
Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) analysed several popular African and
Caribbean meals*** and discovered that their salt content is extremely high – fried fish and yam pottage contained 10.75g of salt in a single serving, Jollof rice and Suya chicken contained 10.27g for a single serving, brown fish stew 9.14g and Calypso chicken with rice contained 9.34g in a serving.
Dr Mike Mead, a Medical Advisor at the Blood Pressure Association, said:
People of African Caribbean descent have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, yet despite this, it’s a condition that too few people are aware of or take seriously”.
The AMA Consultancy has spearheaded the campaign to raise awareness amongst the African Caribbean community by bringing together some of television’s most prominent African Caribbean celebrities for a special one-off photo-shoot.
Actor, Rudolph Walker says, “It’s important to raise awareness of this campaign amongst the African Caribbean community and encourage them to check their blood pressure, because so many African Caribbeans suffer from high blood pressure but are unaware of it”.
Know Your Numbers Week! is the nation’s biggest blood testing event which
encourages people to have free blood pressure check at one of 3,000 ‘Pressure
Stations’ across the UK. Thousands of Pressure Stations are being run by health professionals at pharmacies, shopping centres, street markets, workplaces, sports venues and many other community locations from Monday 8- Sunday 14 September. Pressure stations have also been set up at several churches with mainly African Caribbean congregation.
To find out where you can get your nearest free check, visit the Blood Pressure Association’s website at www.bpassoc.org.uk/kyn or call 020 8772 4994.