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Monday, April 22, 2024

No clues? TV detective Shivaji Satam encourages South Asians to take advantage of free blood pressure checks at the pharmacy

TV detective Shivaji Satam is supporting a new campaign to encourage South Asians aged 40 and over to take up free blood pressure checks at their local participating pharmacy. The award-winning star of ‘CID’ is famous for solving crimes, but Shivaji highlights that high blood pressure can be a ‘silent killer’ that often leaves no clues:

“High blood pressure can be really serious. If left untreated it could increase your risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms and the only way to know if you’ve got it is to get a blood pressure check.”

As a community, we are very aware that we’re prone to high blood pressure, but this doesn’t always translate into us keeping on top of it. A recent survey commissioned by NHS England found that over 3 in 5 (62%) of South Asians thought that their blood pressure was ‘normal’, which could be stopping people from getting checked. Under half (47%) of South Asian respondents said they would have a blood pressure check to see if they had high blood pressure, with a similar proportion (46%) thinking that they would experience symptoms if they actually had high blood pressure. In fact, it usually presents with no symptoms.

Shivaji is familiar with this pattern in his friends and family:

“People think you can tell if you have high blood pressure, but there are often no obvious clues to follow and there is a lot of misinformation about. For example, even if you don’t eat much salt, you’re not overweight and you have no family history of high blood pressure – you may still have high blood pressure yourself. The only way to find out is to get it checked, which can be done at your local pharmacy for free, in privacy, without needing to book an appointment.”

Millions of people could be living with high blood pressure without knowing, but now it is easy to find out, as your local pharmacy offers free blood pressure checks. You can walk into a participating pharmacy and ask for one with no appointment needed, so you can easily fit it into your day or combine it with a quick trip to the shops.

Professor Chris Witty

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Sir Chris Whitty further presses the importance of getting your blood pressure checked: “High blood pressure usually has no symptoms but can lead to serious health consequences such as a fatal heart attack, a stroke, kidney disease and vascular dementia. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get a simple, non-invasive blood pressure test. Even if you are diagnosed, the good news is that it’s usually easily treatable.  Getting your blood pressure checked at a local pharmacy is free, quick and you don’t even need an appointment, so please go for a check today – it could save your life.”

The free checks are available if you are aged 40 or over, live in England and haven’t had a recent diagnosis of high blood pressure, or a check in the last six months.  Shivaji urges that we each make a commitment today to take control of our health, with a little help from our  local pharmacist, and get checked:

“Find out where to get your free blood pressure check, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Together we can create a healthier and happier community.”

Find a pharmacy that offers free blood pressure checks near you by searching “pharmacy blood pressure check” or visiting the NHS website here

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