KV Network

Hypertension – leading cause of cardio Cerebrovascular Diseases

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Dr Balbir Singh
Hypertension is one of the most common ailments trending among the Indian youths. Prevalence of hypertension has increased rapidly in the past 2-3 years that poses serious threat to increase in the number of non-communicable diseases like stroke and cardiovascular diseases. The reasons attributing to the rise in numbers include stressful lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and long working hour among many others. Recent social norms and addictions to smoking, bingeing on alcohol are some factors which play a vital role in aggravating the condition.
It is estimated that about 22-40% of adults in age above 40 years have high blood pressure in Urban India and about 12 to 20 % in Rural India. But the worst is the fact that 60 to 70 % of the people surveyed did not know about high BP which means that hypertension is a silent disease and unless checked many will not be aware of this.
Attributable risks are the main cause that makes hypertension the deadliest disease across the world. Though preventable, it leads to 54% chances of stroke, 50% chances to have ischemic and other heart diseases. Other complications linked to it are hypertension heart disease, heart failure, dissection of aorta and retinal damage as well. Summing up all the risk factors makes hypertension the leading silent killer.
The increasing prevalence of hypertension is attributed to population growth, ageing and behavioral risk factors such as unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, lack of physical activity, excess weight and exposure to persistent stress. The adverse health consequences of hypertension are compounded because many hypertensive people also have other risk factors that increase the odds of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. These risk factors include tobacco use, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus.
Premature death, disability, personal and family disruption, loss of income, and healthcare expenditure due to hypertension takes a toll on families, communities and national finances. In low- and middle-income families, many people do not seek treatment for hypertension because it costs a lot over a long period of time. Timely diagnosis can lead to better outcomes in management of the disease. Do not delay treatment in case your blood pressure is found to be high and does not settle with dietary precautions. The longer you have untreated hypertension; more are chances of getting complications. Self-monitoring of blood pressure is recommended for those who are capable enough for same There is urgent need to increase awareness regarding hypertension among young adults.
At present several effective and safe drugs are available so its recommended to bring BP to 130/80 to produce maximum benefit this was based out of the data from SPRINT trial which was conclusive that a target of 130/ 80 is associated with reducing the number of heart attacks, brain strokes and kidney failure.
As per several hypertension society guidelines any one having either Systolic BP more than 140 mm or diastolic more than 90 mm are to labelled as hypertension and need to be treated. Excess sodium intake leads to casualties due to hypertension. When the amount of sodium in the blood is high, it raises the arterial pressure, thus increasing the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. 90% of the hypertensive people have no identifiable cause, which is known as primary hypertension and only 10% develop it due to pre-existing condition known as secondary hypertension. Various factors like age, genetic history of diabetes, excess body weight and sedentary lifestyle have been linked to essential hypertension.
It is important to spread awareness among the masses and follow a healthy lifestyle to prevent the silent killer. Reducing the sodium intake and limiting packed or fried foods lessen the chances of hypertension by 75%. Instead eat high fibre food, like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole wheat grain. Make sure to exercise atleast 20 minutes a day. Immediately consult the doctor, when you sense an increase in blood pressure to avoid further complications. Even in case of pre-hypertension, doctors prescribe lifestyle changes and heart healthy diet to bring it down to normal range. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can have substantial effect on the blood pressure.
(Dr Balbir Singh, Chairman, Cardiac Sciences, Max Hospital, Saket)

KV Network

Kashmir Vision cover all daily updates for the newspaper

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *