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Half of people with diabetes 'have high blood pressure'

Half of all diabetics in the England risk “damaging” consequences through failing to control their blood pressure.

Figures from the National Diabetes Audit information about England, released by Diabetes UK, showed 50.7% of people met their blood pressure target during 2009/10, improving just 0.7% from the previous year.

Using the data as a baseline for the rest of the UK, the charity predicted more than 1.4 million of the 2.9 million people with diabetes in the UK will have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is linked to increases in the risks of diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and stroke.

It is estimated 30% of the general population suffers from high blood pressure.
"It is extremely worrying that half of people with diabetes have high blood pressure,” said Barbara Young, Chief Executive for Diabetes UK.

"We are in danger of high blood pressure becoming the norm in people with the condition, and this is one of the reasons they are experiencing record rates of stroke and kidney failure and are dying years younger than the rest of the population.

"It is important that healthcare professionals realise that measuring the blood pressure of people with diabetes is the start of the process rather than the end of it. Once people with high blood pressure are identified, healthcare professionals then need to work with that person to bring it down to an acceptable level."

A recent survey by Diabetes UK showed 90% of people with diabetes are receiving annual blood pressure checks by healthcare professionals.

Question: What are the ways in which a nurse can help a diabetic patient to bring down their blood pressure?