Professor Tim Spector says buy cheap £20 device to 'save life' and prevent dementia

Prof Tim Spector said using a cheap blood pressure machine could highlight a potentially life-threatening condition
-Credit: (Image: Zoe)

Health scientist Tim Spector has told his followers that investing just £20 could save their life. The professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and founder of the Zoe health app said that his own life changed when he suffered a mini-stroke.

He explained that by buying a simple blood pressure checking machine you could spot a potentially life-threatening incident about to happen. If left untreated, having high blood pressure puts you at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia and even death.

He said: “This device could save your life. High blood pressure is one of the major preventable causes of death, strokes and heart disease. In 2011, my life totally changed. I had double vision in the mountains and I found out my blood pressure had suddenly shot up.

“This is a major risk factor for heart disease and strokes. Two-thirds of people on medication are not properly controlled cos they don’t know what their blood pressure is doing on a regular basis. So that’s why these machines have proved life-saving for many people. And I use it every week to control my blood pressure. So I know how I’m doing and adjust my medication and also my lifestyle and what I eat. So taking control of your health is really important.”

Prof Spector explained that more than 1 in 4 adults in the UK have high blood pressure but many aren’t aware they have it. He added: “A mini-stroke in my early 50s completely changed my life, my blood pressure suddenly shot up and I went on medication to control my blood pressure, it was a real wake-up call to reassess my health and is one of the main reasons I began researching the gut microbiome. Regularly checking my blood pressure at home has been really useful to ensure my hypertension is properly controlled both through the correct medication and a number of lifestyle changes.”

The British Heart Foundation says with high blood pressure, arteries lose their stretchiness, becoming stiff or narrow. It explains: “This narrowing makes it easier for fatty material (atheroma) to build up. This narrowing and damage to the arteries lining your heart or brain could trigger a life-threatening heart attack or stroke.

"Around 50% of heart attacks and strokes are associated with high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can also lead to complications such as kidney failure, heart failure, problems with your sight, vascular dementia.”

For more information from BHF click here.