Stroke is the 4th single leading cause of death in the UK, and although many of us associate it with older people, a quarter of strokes happen in people of working age.
The major risk factors for stroke are outside of our control, such as age, ethnicity and family history. However, personal medical history and state of general health are also significant:
You can reduce these modifiable risks by making positive changes to your lifestyle, for example:
There are generally no symptoms of having high blood pressure, and the only way to find out is to have your blood pressure checked, which you can ask for at your GP surgery and some pharmacies, or to check it yourself at home with a home blood pressure monitor. (See the links below for advice on purchasing one of these).
Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers: the systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body and the diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. Everyone’s blood pressure will be slightly different but as a general guide:
For more information:
The British Hypertension Society (BHS) has information about validated blood pressure monitors that are available to buy.