Blood Pressure United

We’re tackling hypertension

We’ve teamed up with Glenn Hoddle to launch Blood Pressure United – a cause incredibly close to the ex-England manager’s heart

High blood pressure – dubbed Britain’s “silent killer” because it has so few symptoms – was responsible for some 75,000 deaths in England in 20151 and untreated hypertension is most common in middle-aged men.2

After the deaths of 2 football fans and 26 medical emergencies at matches in just over 2 years, we think it is time to show blood pressure the red card

A Well Pharmacy poll of male football fans reveals 65% of men have worried about their blood pressure or health – and more than half admit their partner has worried too.

A third of fans aged 45 to 54 admit they’ve gone more than a year without a blood pressure test, the same for a quarter of fans aged 55 and over – the age group with the most cases

Hoddle, whose heart stopped for 60 seconds when he had a cardiac arrest in a TV studio on his 61st birthday, knows only too well the importance of men looking after their health.

Glenn Hoddle, ex-England team manager.

“I’m very concerned about the recent spate of fans taken ill at matches, so the next time someone you care about comes back home from the game, give them a hug… and tell them to get tested.”

Glenn Hoddle said, “Men can be incredibly stubborn about their health – believe me, I’ve got the scars to prove it.”

“There are no obvious signs you have high blood pressure, but it’s easily spotted with a quick test, and then it’s manageable by making a few life changes, like I did.”

“That’s why I had to get involved with this vital campaign from Well Pharmacy, and I’m calling on all fans to roll up a sleeve and get their blood pressure checked – and badger their family members to get tested too.”

“I’m very concerned about the recent spate of fans taken ill at matches, so the next time someone you care about comes back home from the game, give them a hug… and tell them to get tested.”

“Believe me, if the worst were to happen, you’d wish you both had some extra time.”

Blood pressure – do you know the score?

Hypertension is a contributing factor in half of all strokes and heart attacks in the UK.3 It was responsible for some 75,000 deaths in England in 2015.1

Around one in three adults has high blood pressure in England but as many as half of them may not know they have it due to the condition showing very few symptoms.2

In England, some 30% of men and 26% of women have the condition, which is most prevalent in adults aged 65 and over.2 For men, untreated hypertension is most common in those aged 45 to 65 years of age.2

A third of men admit that they avoid seeing a doctor because they “don’t want to make a fuss”.4

Football fan getting his blood pressure check with Blood Pressure United
Glenn Hoddle having his blood pressure taken in the Blood Pressure  United mobile clinic.
Get on board the Blood Pressure Bus when the campaign kicks off at Forest vs Arsenal

Blood Pressure United will be parking our campaign bus outside The City Ground for the Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal match on Tuesday, January 30.

Well Pharmacy colleagues will be offering free blood pressure checks to fans on their way to watch the Gunners take on Forest at home.

It takes around 10 minutes for the test to be completed, and our colleagues will be on hand to offer any advice and information you might need.

Get your blood pressure checked for free at your local Well Pharmacy

Just 8% of men polled said they have had their blood pressure checked at a local pharmacy.

But did you know that if you’re aged 40 or over, that is exactly the place you can get a free blood pressure check?

Booking a test couldn’t be simpler. Pop into your local Well Pharmacy to make an appointment with one of our colleagues or find a pharmacy using the NHS website.

What increases your risk of high blood pressure?

Lifestyle is one of the biggest contributors to high blood pressure – but with a few changes it can be improved or even prevented.

Stress is a big factor when it comes to high blood pressure, and a Well Pharmacy poll of male football fans reveals one in four find following their team very or extremely stressful.

Men in the most at-risk age range for untreated hypertension scored even worse, with nearly half (48%) of 35 to 54-year-olds find supporting their team to be very or extremely stressful.

One in 10 men aged 35 to 44 say they drink around six units of alcohol (about three pints of lager) on a match day, while one in 20 admit to drinking more than 10 units (five pints), the Well Pharmacy poll also reveals.

Around 16% of men aged 45-54 – the heaviest-drinking age group - claim to regularly consume four pints or more on a match day.

Half of all men polled in the 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 age categories admitted to eating chips when at a match, while around 40% revealed they enjoy a burger.

Football fans in Glasgow are the biggest pie eaters with half of all surveyed tucking into one at a game while Londoners eat the most chips, with half saying they enjoy a bag at a match.

More than half of men aged 44 or under say they are unsure or unaware of the consequences of untreated hypertension. Half of fans in London are equally in the dark.

Regular exercise is also not something the men most likely to have untreated high blood pressure take part in.

The survey revealed half of men aged 45-54 exercise do no more than two hours a week – less than the 150 minutes recommended for suffers by the British Heart Foundation.5

Get a blood pressure check if you are:

  • overweight
  • regularly eating foods with lots of salt
  • not eating enough fruit and veg
  • not exercising regularly
  • drinking large amounts of alcohol frequently
  • drinking lots of coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks) regularly
  • a smoker
  • stressed
  • over 65
  • a person with a relative with high blood pressure
  • Black African, Black Caribbean or South Asian descent
  • a person who lives in a deprived area
How to tell if you have high blood pressure

High blood pressure has very few noticeable symptoms – which is why it is known as the ‘silent killer’.

However, the following can be signs you may have it:

  • blurred vision
  • nosebleeds
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • headaches
Do you know the risks?

Persistent high blood pressure can raise your risk of many serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, including:

  • heart attacks
  • cardiac arrest
  • strokes
  • heart failure
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • aortic aneurysms
  • kidney disease
  • vascular dementia
  1. UK Gov Health Matters report
  2. NHS Digital Health Survey
  3. Blood Pressure UK
  4. Health Matters survey Dec 2023,it%20is%20a%20real%20necessity.
  5. The British Heart Foundation