World Hypertension Day: Combating Pressure On 17th May

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“Hypertension is a lifestyle disorder,” Dr Balaraju D, Consultant Cardiologist, Manipal Hospitals. 

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a medical condition where high pressure ensues against the arterial walls. Known by the name ‘silent killer,’ it paves a path for a plethora of cardiovascular disorders as it might go undiagnosed because of its asymptomatic nature. Over 7.6M deaths in the world are consequential to high blood pressure. Its fatality rate rises to an alarming level along with the morbidity of Covid-19. The mortality rate of a covid positive person suffering from arterial hypertension is around 6%.  While for a non-hypertensive person it’s 2.3%. 

Blazing the Trail

Launched in 2005 during the springtide of 14th of May under the World Hypertension League, the initiative charges ahead to propagate the awareness on hypertension. The scheme manifests as a ticker to deescalate the unhealthy meter as soon as possible by snipping the rampant roots of high blood pressure.

The WHL had sought for this as ‘50% of people were unaware regarding hypertension.’ Celebrated on 17th May, themes are assigned every year to elevate the progress. The first theme had been, “Awareness of high blood pressure,” in 2005 while it was “Treat to Goal,” and “Healthy diet, healthy blood pressure,” in 2006 and 2007 respectively. “Know Your Numbers,” has been the theme for the 2013-18 period, stemming from the inescapable mandate of paying visits for a check-up.     

The Streaming Journey 

Hypertension affects around 1.13B individuals globally. As per recent reports, there has been a 1.6% rise in hypertension patients from 2019 to 2020 in India. Alarms go red as India stands amongst the top 100 nations in the list of hypertension-related deaths. According to the latest guidelines, normal blood pressure marks at 120 mm Hg systolic and 80 mm Hg diastolic. 

Affecting more than 30% of people around the world, hypertension is one of the stimulators of premature deaths as it reduces the life expectancy by 4.9-5.1 years. The ongoing pandemic stress distorts the efforts further. The mental pressure of the aggravating virus has done no good.  

The risk is severe for both sexes, however, it might be comparatively symptomatic for women than men. Men at a young age showed higher peril (47%) than women (43%). Although, women at older age portrayed a steep rise especially after the age of 45 or post-menopause. For women, hypertension frequently develops during their child-bearing years and pregnancy (6-8%). Nevertheless, the older, the riskier.

Contributing factors of hypertension include stress, lifestyle, neglect of workout and age. The presence of other disorders like chronic kidney disease, heart-related malaise, thyroid, diabetes mellitus, drugs or alcohol abuse also line up to fuel raised blood pressure.   

Some minor symptoms that shouldn’t be neglected if routinely noticed. Remember, before the malady makes its home it plants its visit with some recurring occurrences.

Signs To Look For:

These signs always do not point out hypertension. They are not concrete enough to be assumed as the onset of hypertension as they could also signify some other underlying thing. Although, it is safe to visit a doctor without delay if these happen regularly.

  • Migraines or severe headaches
  • Bleeding from nose
  • Frequent feeling of nauseousness
  • Breathing problems or chest pains
  • Dizzy head
  • Vision blurring
  • Bleeding while urinating

The Quest

The theme for 2021 reads, “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.” The significance is in inculcating a healthy lifestyle. As per cardiologists, here is a list of precautions to take if you are a patient of hypertension:- 

Eating Right:

For high blood pressure patients, a diet with less salt intake is recommended. Discard all the junk and high-cholesterol rich food. Welcome fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains to the diet. Load the diurnal food habits with low-dairy rich products.  Also, bid farewell to sodium in food.

Unavoidable Workout:

One of the most prominent reasons for hypertension is obesity. A study has revealed that overweight people were more vulnerable to high blood pressure. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes shortness of breathing while sleeping in a person because of obesity. The obstruction of breath might instigate the blood pressure levels. 30 mins of jogging per day are good for your hormones.

Bad Habits at Bay:

It is advised by doctors to quit smoking and cutting down on the intake of alcohol. Tobacco has chemicals which when released in the blood vessels causes a dramatic annihilating effect. Consumption of alcohol messes up with the cardiovascular tissues.

Incessant drinking of alcohol and chain-smoking puts you at the risk of hypertension plus other heart diseases.

Stress-Busters:

Stress is an instigator of hypertension. It increases mental pressure leading to a rise in blood pressure levels. Lifestyle burden and workload at the office have made hypertension common in households.

To manage this stress, meditation and yoga are the escape route. Meditation calms the body and mind.  Therefore, yoga is a formidable force against the battle. It reduces stress as a form of meditation and keeps the body healthy by managing weight. Patients who did yoga had seen a drastic lowering of blood pressure compared to those who didn’t.

Priority Medicines:

Medication is not to be trifled with at any cost. Prescribed medicines along with the above-mentioned measures are to be taken seriously. Skipping medicines shall bring no fortune but fatal scenarios like stroke, heart arrest and even death.

One can monitor the blood pressure at home as well. Although, accurate monitoring and measurement are needed. Oftentimes people do not follow the right way to get the readings that give rise to wrong readings.

Check out the tips for measuring BP at the ease of your home.

This year, jot the date of your health examination and  do not fall prey to carelessness regarding the covid-19 vaccination. Let’s win the war waged between hypertension and covid-19. 

Stay tuned with Herald Journalism for more updates!

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