Hypertension, also commonly known as blood pressure, is one of the most common lifestyle disease prevailing today. Hypertension is a medical condition in which the pressure of blood against the walls of the artery is very high is usually long ter. It affects one in three adults in India and causes almost 2.6 lakh deaths annually in the country.
Latest studies have revealed that hypertension is equally high in the medical community especially doctors owing to high stress situations. This is in spite of their taking hypertensive medicines.
Also, the number of patients in the younger age group of 20 to 30 years is also increasing, mainly owing to unhealthy lifestyles.
Long term hypertension increases the risk of developing various health conditions such as heart attacks, heart disease, vascular dementia and chronic kidney disease among others.
A person is said to be hypertensive if his blood pressure reading is above 140/90 and is severely hypertensive if the reading more than 180/120.
Hypertension is also known as the “silent killer” as a person can have high blood pressure without any visible symptoms though complications may arise as a result of narrowing of blood vessels.It is important to get your blood pressure screened regularly to reduce the risk of developing the various ailments as hypertension shows no symptoms.
Some people with hypertension may exhibit symptoms such as headaches, nosebleeds or shortness of breath.
Fortunately, hypertension can be easily detected and controlled with medical help.
Though the causes of hypertension are not known, risk factors for it include:
-Being overweight or obese
-Not getting enough sleep
-Excessive consumption of alcohol
-Diet rich in salt
-Age- especially over 65 yrs
-Race—African American adults are more prone to hypertension than Hispanic American adults
-Family history of hypertension
Healthy lifestyle modifications can aid in reducing a person’s chances of developing hypertension and also controlling and lowering it if it is high.
Every year, May 17 is observed as World Hypertension day (WHD) to create awareness about the disease and steps that can be taken to prevent this silent killer which is nothing short of a modern epidemic.