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Science
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 27 February
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 27 February 2007
A person has their blood pressure taken

Full programme transcript >>

Blood pressure

This week Dr Mark Porter investigates the causes of high blood pressure.

His guest in the studio is Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at St George’s Hospital, London.

More than a quarter of British adults have raised blood pressure - that's more than 15 million people.

Although it’s a problem that becomes more common with age, it can happen to anyone.

One in 20 women develop high blood pressure, or hypertension, before their mid thirties – one in five men before their mid forties, but the chances are they don't know it. Once they reach their 60s, more people have high blood pressure than not.

Not even a pinch

It's been well publicised that too much salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure, but how much is too much, and is it always easy to tell how much is in your food?

Some supermarkets have tried red, amber and green symbols on their foods, but how effective are they?

DIY testing

DIY blood pressure testing kits are becoming more and more commonplace, and it's thought that taking a reading in the comfort of your own home can produce a more accurate reading than in the more stressful environment of a GP's surgery.

Mark finds out about this growing trend and the do's and don'ts of buying your very own machine - thanks to the British Hypertension Society's website.

Ethnicity and high blood pressure

It's thought that ethnicity can influence the likelihood of developing high blood pressure: Afro-Caribbean people in this country are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure as Caucasians.

Caroline Swinburne reports on the theories behind this phenomenon, and hears about the Modernisation Initiative, a project based in South London which is aiming to encourage members of the African and Afro-Caribbean communities to get their blood pressure checked regularly and look at how their lifestyle could be changed to improve their health.

Check Up


Barbara Myers will be taking listeners' calls about heart attacks this Thursday in a new series of Check Up on BBC Radio 4.  If you have a question, contact the programme via this link.
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