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MILLENNIALS revealed as most ‘at risk’ of developing high blood pressure

MILLENNIALS revealed as most ‘at risk’ of developing high blood pressure

New research reveals Millennials are most affected by a host of blood pressure raising factors and therefore are the fastest growing ‘at risk’ generation when it comes to developing hypertension. 

The survey of 2,000 respondents[1] by Kinetik Wellbeing, leaders in home blood pressure technology, was conducted to support activity in Superdrug during Blood Pressure Awareness Week.  The results show that 96% of Millennials[2] are highly stressed about a host of factors ranging from brexit uncertainty (36%) to the housing market (39%) and that they have poor weight and drinking habits (42%) – all risks directly linked to high blood pressure, which can be a key cause of heart attacks and strokes across all age groups.[3]

In addition the results reveal that Millennials’ rank the highest of all generations when it comes to:

  • Drinking 3-4 times a week (30%)
  • Eating food high in salt and fat 3-4 times a week (32%)
  • Only getting their ‘five a day’ 1-2 times every week (32%)
  • Never exercising (16%)
  • Only sleeping for eight hours 1-2 times a week (35%)

Despite being the fastest growing ‘at risk’ generation of developing high blood pressure due to these lifestyle factors, Millennials are in fact least aware of what a healthy blood pressure number is. Only 40% could determine what a healthy blood pressure reading was, compared to 48% of 35-44 year olds, 57% of 45-54 year olds, and 62% of those aged 55+.

The results also reveal that 93% of Millennials don’t believe it’s important to know their blood pressure measurements as a preventative measure.  Reasons given for not being more proactive were that it doesn’t cross their mind unless there’s a problem (52%), lack of time (21%)  and difficulty of knowing what to do (19%). Just 8% proactively make regular blood pressure health checks, compared with 16% of 35-44 year olds, 21% of 45-54 year olds, and 33% of those aged 55+ who check regularly.

In light of these findings, and ahead of Blood Pressure Awareness week[4], from 10-16 September, Superdrug and Kinetik Wellbeing will be promoting free blood pressure checks. The activity aims to further break down the barriers to people regularly taking their blood pressure and therefore more proactively managing their health.

The checks are available at every Superdrug Pharmacy store all year round with advice available from their pharmacists or nurses where needed[5].  In addition, during this week, the St John Ambulance will be outside Superdrug stores in Watford (10 September), Grantham (11th September) and Manchester Piccadilly (13th September) to give first aid advice.

James Grover, Head of Product Technology at Kinetik Wellbeing said “It’s estimated that 16 million people have high blood pressure, of which seven million people are unaware that they have it. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, because unless you test for it you don’t know you have a serious condition until you need medical intervention. “

He continues “The US has recently changed its bands for high/pre-high blood pressure numbers – a change that could come to the UK and would mean that many more people will be diagnosed with the condition. Taking your blood pressure at home is really simple and quick and could save your life.”

Michael Henry, Superdrug’s Healthcare Director, said;Our partnership with Kinetik Wellbeing enables us to raise further awareness of the free blood pressure checks available in all our 200 pharmacies all year round.  Our trained pharmacists and nurses want to continue to educate people about potential risk factors of high and pre-high blood pressure and how you can make small changes that will positively impact your life.”

Dr Pixie McKenna, Superdrug’s Health ambassador, said; “Blood pressure is no longer an older person’s ailment. Lack of exercise, stress, excess alcohol consumption, excess weight and excess salt in the diet are some of the lifestyle issues which can cause blood pressure to climb. Millennials are now more at risk of these factors than any other age group and can therefore be most at risk of developing high blood pressure. I see it every day in my own patients.

“Unfortunately, you won’t know how high your blood pressure is until you check it because more often than not it doesn’t give rise to symptoms. All adults should be actively checking their blood pressure, this simple check could prove lifesaving.”

Michelle Kerrigan, National Partnerships Manager, St John Ambulance, said “St John Ambulance and Kinetik Wellbeing have a shared passion for empowering people to look after their health, from knowing how to tackle a first aid emergency to keeping an eye on blood pressure. Every Kinetik healthcare product bought, supports St John Ambulance with a donation to help us carry out our crucial work in communities.”


[1] Omnibus survey conducted in August 2018.

[2] Millennials defined as 22-37 year olds


[4] September is Blood Pressure Awareness Month; 10-16 September is blood pressure awareness week.

[5] Subject to the availability of the pharmacist or nurse