Healthy blood pressure, healthy heart beat
Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure affects more than 1.5 billion people around the world. Hypertension may not cause symptoms and can kill people silently. Thus, it is a global challenge. However, it is a potentially preventable disease which is easily measurable and controllable.
The theme is “Healthy blood pressure and Healthy heart beat” which emphasized the fact — if blood pressure is not under control, it can lead to a disease of irregular heart beat which can be life-threatening.
Blood pressure of 140/90 mm of Hg or higher is called hypertension. Uncontrolled pressure can lead to a number of fatal complications including stroke, heart attack and other heart diseases, kidney failure, blindness.
In Bangladesh, approximately 20% of adult and 40-65% of elderly people suffer from hypertension according to a study report titled “Hypertension in Bangladesh”. Obesity, high salt intake and physical inactivity are main contributing factors. In some studies, the prevalence of hypertension in the rural population was unexpectedly high, which was associated with high salt intake in rural areas.
The prevalence of hypertension is rising by and by due to unhealthy life style, behavioral changes, ageing, unhealthy dietary habits, lack of physical activity, overweight and stressful life.
Hypertension may be primary where the cause is unknown and associated with familial influence and age related changes. The other situation is secondary hypertension where the cause is secondary to renal disease and hormonal diseases. However, all forms of hypertension is treatable.
Hypertension is posing a great challenge to the world community. The control of hypertension requires orchestrated and dedicated efforts involving all spheres of the society, not just physician alone. Awareness is the key to prevent and control hypertension.
The following 6 steps prescribed by the American Society of Hypertension can help lower high blood pressure.
1. Follow a healthy eating plan: Healthy diet includes adequate vegetable and fruits.
2. Get to and stay at a healthy weight: Ideal body weight is essential for good health.
3. Eat less salt: Excess salt can lead to hypertension.
4. Exercise: Sedentary life style is damaging. Physical activity keeps body fit.
5. Stop smoking: Smoking is injurious and contributes to high blood pressure.
6. Take your blood pressure at home: Home blood pressure reading is more representative