I met a gentleman at a dinner party last night who asked me if his reddening face could be a sign of high blood pressure.

No.

High blood pressure (or hypertension) is entirely asymptomatic, which is why it is known as the “silent killer”. The only way to see if you have it, is to be regularly tested. According to the NHS, about a third of UK adults are hyper-tensive – a really worrying statistic. 

High blood pressure significantly increases risks of stroke and heart attacks. Annual health checks will always include a blood pressure check, and if I’m worried about a patient, I set them up with a 24 hour monitor to get a full picture. 

and the red face? Rosacea, a skin condition which leads to ‘flushing’ of the skin (which comes and goes), and sometimes to tiny broken blood vessels across nose and cheeks – giving the impression of redness. I generally treat it with antibiotics, and lifestyle changes.