Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most common lifestyle diseases prevalent today, with one in three Indians suffering from it.
Even the doctors are not spared from it.
On the occasion of the World Hypertension Day, Indian Medical Association (IMA) recorded blood pressure readings of more than 500 doctors, and found the incidence is equally high among them, owing to high-stress levels.
During the readings, 21% of the doctors had masked hypertension, which is associated with an increased long-term risk of sustained hypertension and cardiovascular morbidity.
While a huge number of people suffer from hypertension, what is worrying is that more than half of those who suffer from it do not know about it, which is why it’s labelled as a silent killer.
Normal adult blood pressure is 120 mmHg when the heart beats (systolic), and about 80 mmHg when the heart relaxes (diastolic).
When systolic BP is equal to or above 140 mmHg and the diastolic BP is equal to or above 90 mmHg, BP is considered as high.
Since there are no or inconspicuous symptoms, high blood pressure silently damages the heart and blood vessels in organs such as brain and kidney. It is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
“It kills 8 million people each year worldwide, and is directly responsible for 57% of all stroke deaths and 24% of all coronary heart disease deaths in India,” says Dr Tapan Ghose, director, cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj.
Catch the early signs
Early-morning headache; nosebleeds; irregular heartbeats; buzzing in the ears; tiredness, dizziness, weakness; nausea, confusion, anxiety; chest pain, muscle tremors, breathlessness,
Lack of exercise; alcohol consumption, smoking; obesity; family history; use of birth control pills; having excess salt
Workplace wellness programmes to tackle hypertension
*Using the stairs instead of the lift, elevator; carrying home-cooked food instead of ordering take-out; taking break from work and walking around for 5-10 min each hour; do stretching and breathing exercises in between