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Hypertension: don't be silent about ‘the silent killer’

02 August 2020
3 min read
Volume 31 · Issue 8


Nirmala Markandu explains how practice nurses can save lives by encouraging patients to get their blood pressure checked regularly

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer as there are rarely any symptoms. High blood pressure is the biggest single cause of death in the UK. Over half of all strokes and heart attacks are caused by high blood pressure and it is a risk factor for heart disease, kidney disease and vascular dementia (Public Health England, 2017).

High blood pressure affects almost 1 in 3 adults in the UK (Public Health England, 2017), yet many people are unaware they have raised blood pressure. However, the good news is, high blood pressure is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions. Reducing blood pressure to normal levels reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease to the same level of someone without high blood pressure. It may surprise you, therefore, that many patients are undiagnosed and of those who are diagnosed, many are not treated or not controlled.

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