Hypertension Day 2019: This 'silent killer' that ails many and goes unnoticed, is easy to control

In India, hypertension has led to a total of 1.63 million deaths in 2016 and needs to find a way to overcome it.

High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most common causes of cardiovascular diseases. In this condition, the pressure of the blood in the blood vessels is higher than normal which eventually leads to heart problems.

Hypertension can affect people of all the ages and go unnoticed for a significant period of time. High blood pressure has no particular warning signs and symptoms and most of the people don’t even know that they have it. In rare cases, hypertension may cause symptoms such as headaches or vomiting. If the condition is not diagnosed in time, high blood pressure increases the risk of serious health problems including a stroke or a heart attack.

World Hypertension day will be celebrated on 17th May with an aim to increase the common public awareness about hypertension. Image credit: Michigan Health Lab

World Hypertension day will be celebrated on 17th May with an aim to increase the common public awareness about hypertension. Image credit: Michigan Health Lab

Fortunately, hypertension is easily detectable and can be controlled, therefore, it is highly recommended that people undergo routine health check-ups to ensure their blood pressure falls within the normal range.

Risk factors and management of hypertension

Hypertension cannot be subjected to a particular cause, but there are various factors that may contribute towards its onsets such as age, lifestyle, family history, and some health conditions. You may not be able to control all of them but you can surely take steps to lower the risks by modifying your living style.

You may simply begin with eating a healthy diet. Eating foods with less amount of salt and high potassium can significantly help to bring the blood pressure down. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet has been specifically created to help people lower their blood pressure. Also, regular exercise, less alcohol consumption and quitting smoking can help to bring down the blood pressure to normal levels.

People suffering from prehypertension or diabetes are advised to regularly monitor their blood pressure and take the medicines on time. Instruments to monitor the blood pressure at home are available at affordable prices in the market.

However, it has been noticed that once people start to feel relieved, they often tend to skip the dose or completely stop the consumption of the medicines without consulting the doctor. This further leads to severe complications and increases the risk of a heart attack. To keep the blood pressure at normal levels, it is very important that you take the medicines regularly and as prescribed by the doctor.

Impact of hypertension on India

Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors for the chronic disease burden in India. Studies conducted in various parts of the country have reported a high prevalence of the condition and low awareness about the same.

As per the global burden of diseases study, hypertension led to a total of 1.63 million deaths in India in the year 2016 as compared to 0.78 million in the year 1990 which was around 108 percent more. It further reported that the disease burden attributable to hypertension increased from 21 million in 1990 to 39 million in 2016.

As per the 4th National Family Health Survey (NFHS) and 4th District Level Household Survey (DLHS), there are presently around 207 million people suffering from hypertension in India. Among these 112 million are men while 95 million are women. All these statistics reveal that India needs to boost up its strategies to combat hypertension.

Info-graphic. Image credit: International of hypertension

Info-graphic. Image credit: International of hypertension

World Hypertension Day

People and health organisations around the globe are making continuous efforts to raise awareness about Hypertension. According to statistics, it has been noted that approximately 1.8 billion people suffer from hypertension globally and 50 percent of them are totally unaware of the condition. Therefore, since 2005, World Hypertension Day is celebrated every year around the globe to raise awareness about the “silent killer”.

This year, World Hypertension day will be celebrated on 17 May with an aim to increase the common public awareness about hypertension.

In conclusion

Hypertension is not a condition which cannot be controlled. We simply need to be a little more vigilant towards our health and keep an eye on our blood pressure levels. If we all become aware of how hypertension can affect our lives, it would become easier for us to modify our lifestyle.  This World Hypertension day, let us make a promise to ourselves that we will not let hypertension affect us or our dear ones and that we will do everything in our might raise awareness about the same.

The author is a Senior consultant in the medical team at docprime.com.


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