Tesco offering free health tests in store to check for silent killer

SUPERMARKET chain Tesco is offering free health tests in stores to check for a silent killer disease.

Half a million blood pressure checks will be available to Brits after research found many are putting off simple medical tests.

Brits can get free blood pressure checks at their local Tesco stores


Brits can get free blood pressure checks at their local Tesco storesCredit: Alamy

High blood pressure is often thought of as a silent killer, as many people who suffer from it often show no symptoms at all.

If left untreated, it can be dangerous as it can lead to problems such as a heart attack or stroke.

The condition, sometimes called high blood pressure, puts a strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs.

Research by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) shows that up to five million Britons could be living with undiagnosed high blood pressure.

And to uncover as many cases as possible, the charity has partnered with Tesco.

Appointments are offered at the Tesco pharmacy and take around ten minutes.

During the appointment, the pharmacist will need access to your upper arms to take your blood pressure and then advise you on the next steps.

Medical professionals hope working with Tesco will make these vital checks as easy as your weekly grocery shopping.

The NHS estimates that blood pressure checks at local pharmacies could prevent over 5,000 heart attacks and over 8,000 strokes and save over 4,000 lives over the next five years.

Only 30 percent of men and women had at least one routine medical exam in the past year, with more than one in three saying they have not had their readings checked in the past 12 months.

dr BHF Chief Executive Charmaine Griffiths stressed the importance of the appointments.

She said: “Each week in the UK around 4,000 people are hospitalized for a heart attack or stroke, with treatable high blood pressure contributing to many of these life-threatening events.

“That means the opportunity for a free blood pressure check could be one of the most valuable offers when doing your weekly grocery shopping. It’s quick, easy and could even save your life.”

This week, both ambulances and nurses went on strike over a dispute over patients’ pay and conditions.

dr Griffiths added that at a time when healthcare is under incredible strain, providing these checks could help millions improve their health while preventing countless heart attacks and strokes.

What is a normal blood pressure reading?

Blood pressure is measured using two different numbers:

First number called systolic Blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart is beating.

Second number called diastolic Blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart is resting between beats.

Hostile example: The reading is 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say “120 over 80” or write “120/80 mmHg”.

Normally blood pressure should be below 120 and above 80 (120/80).

You can request a blood pressure measurement from your GP.

Some practices have a machine in the waiting area and it only takes a few minutes to take a measurement.

You can also ask your local pharmacy, although they may ask your GP for an inquiry.

Healthy adults over 40 should have their blood pressure checked at least every five years, the NHS says.

The introduction of free checks at Tesco comes after it was revealed 500,000 Britons could be at risk of a heart attack or stroke due to delays in medication.

Half a million people should have started essential heart medication during lockdown but were not getting help, the BHF said.

The charity found that between March 2020 and July 2021 there were 491,306 fewer than normal first-time prescriptions for antihypertensive drugs.

The monthly declines were worst during the harshest lockdowns in Spring 2020 and January 2021.

What causes high blood pressure and how can it be reduced?

Doctors may not be able to pinpoint the exact reason high blood pressure occurs because many risk factors may be present.

Some people are more likely to get high blood pressure because of “risk factors.”

The invariable risk factors include:

  • Age – if you are over 65 years old
  • Family history – if you have a relative with high blood pressure
  • Ethnicity – if you are of Black African or Black Caribbean descent
  • Socioeconomic status – if you live in a disadvantaged area

However, many risk factors can be questioned.

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Lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk of high blood pressure, even if the odds are against you because, for example, you’re over 65 years old.

“Most people develop high blood pressure because of their diet, lifestyle or medical condition,” the BHF said.

https://www.the-sun.com/health/7328212/tesco-offering-free-health-tests-silent-killer/ Tesco offering free health tests in store to check for silent killer

Emma James

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