High blood pressure is the biggest known cause of heart disease and stroke in the UK, but it is a symptomless condition – that’s why it’s called the ‘silent killer’. The only way to find out if you have the condition is to have regular blood pressure checks.
The good news is that, once detected, high blood pressure can be successfully managed, either by making lifestyle changes or by taking medication.
Mike Rich, Executive Director of the Blood Pressure Association, said: “The Blood Pressure Association urges everyone to love their heart and know their blood pressure numbers this Valentine’s Day.
“As people of South Asian descent are at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke and are six times more likely to develop diabetes than other people, it’s really important for them to make positive lifestyle choices which can help to keep blood pressure at a healthy level.
“Staying active, eating more fruit and vegetables, and keeping salt intake to a minimum can all help to lower blood pressure.
“It’s a good idea to try to cut down on fatty foods too, as these not only make you put on weight, which raises blood pressure, but they also raise cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke further. Fats like butter, ghee and palm oil are particularly bad.”
A new booklet ‘Love your heart, A South Asian guide to controlling your blood pressure’ is available free from the Blood Pressure Association, the UK’s leading blood pressure charity, and is also downloadable in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Visit www.bpassoc.org.uk or call 020 8772 4994 for more information.