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High blood pressure and obesity among biggest health concerns in Royal Borough

Thousands of residents in the Royal Borough could be at risk of a heart attack or stroke as a result of undiagnosed high blood pressure.

The Director of Public Health’s annual report into public health across England shows that obesity and high blood pressure (BP) remain among the biggest health concerns across the borough.

While the borough has the ninth lowest rate of premature deaths in England with fewer people dying before the national life expectancy age, which is 79.5 for men and 83 for women, it notes five commonly agreed risk factors that if addressed would reduce preventable deaths; alcohol use, tobacco use, high blood pressure, obesity and physical inactivity.

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of premature death and disability in England and at least half of all heart attacks and strokes are associated with high BP.

It is also a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease, heart failure, stroke, heart attack and vascular dementia.

Across the Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead (WAM) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) it is estimated there are 31,000 people with high blood pressure, with 17,300 currently being treated – meaning there are approximately 14,000 people unaware of their high BP.

While the borough is below the national average for obesity levels, it exceeds the national average for percentage of residents who are overweight. In 2015/16 17.9 per cent of children in reception were overweight or obese, rising to 25.8 per cent in year six.

Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) deputy chairman of the cabinet and lead member for adult services and health said: “We know we need to do better with diabetes and obesity and one often follows the other. The good thing is smoking has declined but work is going on all the time to improve.”

Between 2012 and 2014, there were 275 deaths attributed to smoking per 100,000 population aged 35 and over in England, compared to 224 per 100,000 across the Royal Borough.

Cllr Coppinger added: “It’s quite an exciting time for health at the moment with Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust being one of 10 trusts in the country to pilot the plans outlined in its sustainability and transformation partnership, and its success here means it will be driven out nationally.”

The annual Public Health report will be heard at a Health and Wellbeing Board meeting on Tuesday at 3pm in Old Windsor Memorial Hall, Straight Road, Old Windsor.

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