Making just five simple changes to your lifestyle could protect you from high blood pressure, world health experts have claimed.
The World Health Organisation yesterday suggested that by keeping active, cutting your daily consumption of salt, eating a healthy, fruit and veg-packed diet, slashing alcohol intake and quitting smoking all reduce the risks of falling victim to the 'silent killer'.
According to the WHO, at least one in three adults worldwide suffers with high blood pressure, a condition that often displays few symptoms until it is too late.
In Britain alone, some 62,000 deaths each year can be attributed to hypertension - that's a staggering one in ten.
To mark World Health Day on 7 April, the WHO is urging governments to ensure people get their blood pressure checked, and are demanding "intensified efforts" to prevent and control the condition.
According to the Daily Express, WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan said: "Our aim today is to make people aware of the need to know their blood pressure, to take high blood pressure seriously, and then to take control."
High blood pressure causes 60 per cent of strokes and 40 per cent of heart attacks, both of which are the main causes of premature death and disability in Britain.
Doireann Maddock, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, told the Express: "As many as five million people in the UK are walking around with undiagnosed high blood pressure.
"It rarely makes people feel ill, so it often goes undetected... The only way to tell if you have high blood pressure is to get it measured by your GP or nurse. If you're over 40, ask for a free health check."
What do you think? Should the Government do more to raise awareness of the risks associated with high blood pressure? Leave your comments below...