You may know this already, but there is no harm in reiterating this on World Hypertension Day: Hypertension or high blood pressure is a preventable and controllable condition. The theme for this year ‘Know Your Blood Pressure.’
According to the World health Organization (WHO), hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure (BP), is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure, putting them under increased stress. BP is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to pump.
Over a billion people all over the world suffer from hypertension and it is predicted to increase by 60% to 1.56 billion in 2025. It kills 8 million people every year worldwide and is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, foetal and maternal death in pregnancy, dementia and renal failure.
Two-thirds of those with hypertension live in economically developing countries, including India. It is directly responsible for 57% of all stroke deaths and 24% of all coronary heart disease deaths in India. Sedentary lifestyles, growing urbanisation, tobacco use and fast food culture are some primary causes for high blood pressure. It is called the silent killer as it presents very little symptoms.
Dr Tapan Ghose, director, Cardiology, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, gives some valuable information below to recognise and manage hypertension effectively:
Salt and Hypertension:
Having excess salt places strain on the arteries which carry blood, as a result of which, the tiny muscles in the artery walls become stronger and thicker. This makes the space inside the arteries smaller, raising blood pressure. The arteries gradually become so narrow that they clog up and the organs of the body receiving the blood become starved of oxygen and vital nutrients.
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