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Last Updated: Monday, 30 October 2006, 00:07 GMT
Celebrity Health - Daddy Ernie
Daddy Ernie
'I didn't experience any symptoms'
In a series on celebrities and their health, the BBC News website talks to DJ Daddy Ernie about his high blood pressure.

He started his career in music as a disciple of the King Trojan sound system and soon found himself on the reggae radio station LWR.

After a short stint with Time FM, he hit the big time with the first reggae programme outside Jamaica to run five days a week - Superjam - on Choice FM.

Daddy Ernie talks about his condition to promote the work of the Modernisation Initiative and the Check Your Blood Pressure campaign running in South London.

HOW DID YOU FIRST REALISE SOMETHING WAS WRONG?

The funny thing was I didn't actually know anything was wrong with my blood pressure as I didn't experience any symptoms that I could relate to having high blood pressure.

HOW DID YOU GET DIAGNOSED?

In January 2006 I had a twinge in my knee and it was there for a couple of days.

Get your blood pressure checked - It's a simple ting!
Daddy Ernie

My wife was constantly nagging me to go and get it checked out at the doctor, which I did.

Whilst I was there the doctor said that it wasn't anything to worry about as I probably just jarred it, but he was going to take my blood pressure and some blood tests as I hadn't been to the GP since 1999!

When he took it, he immediately said it was too high.

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE DIAGNOSIS?

I was surprised actually, as I had recently closed my record business and felt a lot less stressed and overworked than I had in previous years - December and January is a really busy time for the DJ business.

WHAT WAS YOUR TREATMENT?

I was put on two different forms of tablets plus aspirin.

I assume that this will be for life as most people I know who have high blood pressure normally take it for life.

HOW DID YOU FEEL DURING THE TREATMENT?

To be honest, because I didn't feel any symptoms I can't really say I feel any different. But it is a relief to know that my high blood pressure is now under control.

Poster campaign
Daddy Ernie is urging everyone to get their blood pressure checked

Especially as I now know that it can lead to very serious consequences if not checked.

That is why I am involved with the Check Your Blood Pressure campaign with the Modernisation Initiative.

We're getting the message out on the airwaves and the streets of Lambeth and Southwark.

HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?

Now that I know more about the condition, I feel it is important that people get their blood pressure checked, especially in the African Caribbean community, because we eat too much salt in our diet and don't take enough exercise.

I also understand that even though you could be really fit and eat really well, you could still have high blood pressure as it runs in the family.

Blood pressure monitor. Credit Sheila Terry/Science Photo Library
Excess salt can increase blood pressure

I have made a concerted effort to increase my own personal exercise by going to the gym and swimming a couple times a week and even a game of squash when I can manage to fit it in.

Sometimes it is hard to keep to the exercise regime, but you have got to make sacrifices.

WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO OTHER PEOPLE WITH THE SAME CONDITION?

Get your blood pressure checked - It's a simple ting!


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