The Government is urging people to know their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers as well as they know their bankcard PIN numbers, as part of a bid to slash 150,000 heart attack, stroke and dementia cases over the next decade.
Only around half of patients with high blood pressure have had their condition detected and NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) want to raise this to four out of five by 2029.
The campaign also aims to see three quarters of 40- to 74-year-olds to receive a formal cardiovascular disease risk check and have had their cholesterol recorded. At the moment, less than half of those eligible for the assessment have had one, PHE has said.
Cardiovascular disease causes one in four deaths in England, the equivalent of someone dying every four minutes and poor heart and artery health can also lead to heart failure, kidney disease, arterial disease and vascular dementia.
Forty health bodies and charities, led by PHE and NHS England, have come together in a coalition to improve the awareness, detection and treatment of three conditions that contribute to cardiovascular disease - atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Prevention is at the heart of our vision for improving the health of the nation, empowering people to stay healthy, not just treating them when they’re ill. Almost half of those with high blood pressure are going about their daily lives without it being detected or treated. Millions of people are needlessly at risk of heart attacks or strokes when it could be prevented. So I want to help more people take the time out to protect their future health and get checked.
“The NHS Long Term Plan has a target to prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and cases of dementia within 10 years. By coming together across the system to agree these ambitions, we have set the goal posts for how we will achieve this target and continue our fight against the nation’s biggest killer.”
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive, Public Health England, said:“Know your numbers and save your life. We know our PIN numbers but not the numbers that save our lives. Thousands of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by more people knowing their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and by seeking help early. Prevention is always better than cure.”
If you haven’t had your blood pressure and cholesterol levels tested recently, Care UK experts are encouraging people to heed the advice from the Government.