blood pressure

High blood pressure is one of the biggest known causes of disability and early death in the UK. If left untreated, it can lead to stroke and heart attack.

1 in 5 people in Islington have high blood pressure but only half know about it. High blood pressure is not something that you can normally feel or notice. The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure it to get it measured.

The good news is that there’s lots that you can do to prevent or reduce high blood pressure. Find out your blood pressure today and take control.

  • Where can I get my blood pressure checked?
    • Where can I get my blood pressure checked?

      Some pharmacies in Islington have blood pressure monitors that you can use for free.

      We’re working with Manor Gardens and the Octopus Community Network to offer blood pressure checks.

      If you’re aged 40 – 74, you can also get your blood pressure checked as part of an NHS Health Check.

      You can also buy blood pressure monitors from £15 that you can use at home. You can purchase these at most pharmacies or online.  Follow these simple steps to make sure your readings are accurate.

  • What do my numbers mean?
    • What do my numbers mean?

      Blood pressure is measured by two numbers. The first, higher number (systolic) is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is pumping blood around your body. The second, lower number (diastolic) is the pressure while your heart is relaxed between beats.

      High blood pressure means that the pressure in your arteries is consistently higher than 140/90 mmHg. This may be slightly lower if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or other conditions.

  • What can I do to reduce my blood pressure?
    • What can I do to reduce my blood pressure?

      Small changes can make a big difference in preventing or lowering high blood pressure.

      Cut down on salt
      Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day – that’s around one teaspoon.

      About 75% of the salt we eat comes from foods that we buy. Check the labels when food shopping and cut back on foods which are high in salt by eating them less often and in smaller amounts.  Look at the figure for salt per 100g:

      • High is more than 1.5g salt per 100g. May be colour-coded red on packaging labels.
      • Low is 0.3g salt or less per 100g. May be colour-coded green on packaging labels.
      • Medium is between 0.3g and 1.5g salt per 100g. May be colour -coded amber on packaging labels.

      Look at the salt you are adding to food you cook. Add flavor by using herbs and spices instead. Get more tips and recipes on our eat well page.

      Keep a healthy weight
      Making small simple changes to what and how much you are eating and drinking and your level of activity can really help you lose the pounds.

      There’s lots of help available, find out what available and what might work for you on our weight loss page.

      Get active
      Being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition. Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure.

      There’s lots of ways that you can increase your activity by making simple changes, such as increasing your walking. Find out more about what’s available in Islington on our moving page.

      Reduce alcohol
      Regularly drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure over time.

      Go to our drinking page and take the two minute online test to find out how much your drinking and what help is available in cutting down.

      Stop smoking
      Smoking causes arteries to narrow and if you have high blood pressure this considerably increases risk of stroke or heart attack.

      Find out about the stop smoking support that’s available.