Get your blood pressure checked at mosques – what should your reading be?

Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure

In a major drive to prevent strokes and heart attacks, NHS and council services in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, are operating a mobile blood pressure service called “How’s Thi Ticker”.

The mobile blood pressure service travels to local neighbourhoods, including to barbershops, supermarkets and community centres to offer blood pressure readings.

Lambeth NHS teams have worked with Black Thrive and MyCommunity Lambeth to offer blood pressure checks at a Brixton dominoes club.

And on Saturday, August 26, a local primary care network ran a free community health check at Birmingham Central Mosque.

New funding will see a further 2.5 million blood pressure checks in community pharmacies.

READ MORE… Brilliant barbershops initiative helps to aid blood pressure checks for men

This move is estimated to prevent more than 1,350 cardiovascular events each year.

Professor Bola Owolabi, NHS Director of Healthcare Inequalities, welcomed the initiative.

“It is so vital we continue to strengthen the exceptional work being done by local NHS prevention and health inequalities teams,” said Professor Owolabi.

He called the move “innovative” as delivering blood pressure checks in churches, mosques, and community centres “get right into the heart of our communities”.

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John Maingay, Director of Policy and Influencing at the British Heart Foundation, warned high blood pressure “doesn’t usually have any obvious symptoms”.

Maingay added: “We urge everyone to take up a free blood pressure check in your neighbourhood – it’s quick, easy, and could help save your life.”

Blood pressure readings

An ideal blood pressure reading is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg – known as systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when your heart pushes blood out around your body.

Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when your heart rests between beats and blood is pushed around your heart.

If you have a reading of 135/86mmHg, you have high blood pressure, which is a health risk.

People who have high blood pressure are more at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

To help bring down your blood pressure there are two main components: diet and physical activity.

Do talk to your local pharmacist if you want more information on how to lower your blood pressure but, as a general guide, you need to eat healthier and exercise more.

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