September Coffee Break: Know Your Numbers Week 4th-10th September!

Published at 01 September, 2023 12:50.

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Thousands take blood pressure checks every September to prevent heart attacks and strokes. You can participate in this year’s “Know Your Number`s Week” campaign from Blood Pressure UK, which aims to increase awareness of the risks of high blood pressure by getting to know your numbers and what they mean.

Quitting smoking can reduce high blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Did you know your blood pressure and pulse return to normal after only 20 minutes of stopping smoking?!

Blood pressure measures the force of blood against the artery walls, the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your body. Untreated high blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, vascular dementia, and problems with your eyesight. If you do have a high blood pressure reading, seek advice from your GP practice for help and advice to bring your blood pressure under control. Contact your local Stop Smoking Service for assistance to stop smoking. Other factors for high blood pressure may include your diet, such as consuming high salt levels.

Both smoking and second-hand smoke increase the risk of plaque build-up inside the arteries. High blood pressure accelerates this process. Every time you smoke, it causes a temporary increase in your blood pressure. Smoking just one cigarette raises heart rate and blood pressure for 15-30 minutes. Therefore, people who smoke regularly over the day will spend much of the day with higher blood pressure than non-smokers.

Separately, smoking and high blood pressure increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, but when a person with high blood pressure also smokes, this increases the risk.

Nicotine in cigarettes stimulates the release of some hormones, which causes the smooth muscles in blood vessels to contract, reducing blood flow and increasing blood pressure.

Get to “Know Your Numbers” this September and decrease your blood pressure, heart disease and stroke risk by stopping smoking!