Healthy Hearts initiative helps local people think about their blood pressure

In the UK, high blood pressure is the third biggest risk factor for disease after tobacco, smoking and poor diet.¹ Not many people know that high blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases the risk of developing serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Doctors across Harrogate and Rural District are supporting the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts initiative to ensure people with high blood pressure receive the care they need. The initiative aims to identifying patients who may have high blood pressure but not yet diagnosed, and those who need to better control their high blood pressure to a safe target below 140/90. 

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts is starting to show very encouraging results. In Harrogate and Rural District more than 400 new patients have been added to the hypertension register since Jan 2019. This means they will be more closely monitored. We have also seen an increase of over than 800 patients who now have their hypertension controlled to safe limits.

Dr Bruce Willoughby, NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group’s Healthy Hearts Clinical Lead, added: “There isn’t always an explanation for the cause of high blood pressure, but some things that can play a part are not doing enough physical activity, being overweight or obese, eating too much salt, regularly drinking too much alcohol and having a family history of high blood pressure. It’s never too late to start looking after your heart and we’re working with the Healthy Hearts initiative to support people to make lifestyle changes to help them stay healthy and well.”

Dr Youssef Beaini, Clinical Lead for the initiative said: “We are working with doctors and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the region including Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven to help reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes. We are focusing in identifying patients with undiagnosed high blood pressure and improving their treatment. We are really encouraged by the results we are seeing and that is all down to the hard work of GPs and nurse on the front line.”

For more information about the West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s Healthy Hearts initiative please visit or contact Pete Waddingham, programme manager, and follow @WYHHealthyHeart on Twitter

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