(Common name: High Blood Pressure or High BP)
Hypertension is one of the commonest diseases in which there is an excess pressure exerted by the flowing blood against the walls of vessels which exceeds desirable levels. Hypertension can have no symptoms for long periods of time thereby silently damaging susceptible organs
- Hypertension is a global public health problem. It is estimated that nearly one out of every three adults has high blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the causes for heart attacks and strokes.
- Both genders are prone to suffer from hypertension
- Researchers have attributed 9 million deaths per year to hypertension.
- A raised blood pressure should be considered as a stern warning that major changes in the lifestyle are required.
- It is possible to control hypertension by employing a multi-pronged approach that has been successfully demonstrated by some developed countries.
- There is a need to address the issue of hypertension at a global level, as envisaged by the WHO
- It is an absolute requirement that every person should undergo regular measurements of blood pressure levels and these should be recorded.
- Suitable lifestyle changes need to be made to prevent or cope with hypertension. Some of these changes are:
- Increase in physical activity
- Dietary modification: measures like reducing salt intake, increasing proportion of plant based diets, increasing the use of Potassium in diet after discussing with physician, and a reduction in dietary fats.
- Stopping tobacco/substance use and limiting alcohol
- Avoidance of stress
- Extra cautions are needed in case you have one or more of the following conditions as these increase your risks:
- Non-white racial origin
- Family history
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Age above 45 years
- Regular intake of high Sodium/ low Potassium diets
- In case you have suffered or are currently having hypertension, the following symptoms may serve as a warning to seek immediate medical help:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Changes in mental status/ seizure
- Severe headache with or without weakness of limbs or facial muscles
- Vision defects
- Swelling of the body parts
- Changes in urinary output
- Maternal or fetal distress in case of pregnancy
- If you are on medication, take them regularly and record your blood pressure at home regularly in the prescribed manner and keep a record of the same.
- Attend your physician visits as per schedule and discuss your concerns and doubts.
- Hypertension is a condition that requires lifelong commitment and follow ups.
- According to JNC 8 Guidelines, for a person above 60 years of age a systolic blood pressure above 150 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure above 90 mm Hg are indications for initiating drug therapy. However, one is advised to stay in touch with the latest recommendations for normal limits.
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Dr Vinay Kumar
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
+91-93 199 299 00
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