• ‘Know Your Numbers’ Week

        Next week is ‘Know your Numbers Week’ when everyone will be reminded of the importance of checking vital medical markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

        So why is this so important?

        Raised blood pressure and high levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol could suggest that you are at risk of heart disease or a stroke. High levels of glucose in the blood could indicate the risk of diabetes which can also cause complications such as kidney disease and nerve damage. All these diseases could potentially be prevented or averted if action is taken early enough; however, symptoms aren’t always apparent.

        Did you know that in the UK, someone has a stroke approximately every three minutes and a heart attack every two minutes, and cardiovascular disease now kills more people than cancer with nearly four times as many women dying of heart disease than breast cancer? (Source: British Heart Foundation).

        So what should you be checking?

        By way of guidance*

        • Optimal blood pressure is around 120 / 80 (120 being your systolic or beating rate, and 80 your diastolic or resting rate). 130/95 is still considered to be normal, but 180/110 indicates severe hypertension.
        • Total cholesterol should ideally be less than 4 or 5 mmol/l
        • ‘Bad’ (LDL) cholesterol is ideally less than 2mmol/l but the ratio of ‘good/HDL cholesterol’ to ‘bad’ cholesterol is also important and should be checked with your GP.
        • Blood taken after fasting should ideally contain less than 6mmol/l of glucose

        If you aren’t familiar with your ‘numbers’, take the opportunity to check them with your GP or Practice Nurse.

        For more information about ‘Know your Numbers Week’ visit the Blood Pressure Association


        *These numbers are ‘ideal’, but individuals may vary, so always seek medical advice if you are concerned.