World Health Day 2013, to be observed on 7th April 2013, focuses on a silent killer - hypertension or high blood pressure, which is a common lifestyle-related problem of the modern world. Hypertension affects nearly one in three adults worldwide.
However, since it does not always cause obvious symptoms, it often goes unnoticed. Ironically, detecting hypertension only needs a blood pressure apparatus, which is available at every doctor's office, and 5 minutes of time.
AdvertisementWhy is it necessary to control blood pressure? Prolonged uncontrolled hypertension can affect vital organs - it affects the heart resulting in heart attacks, irregularities in heart beat and heart failure. It affects the brain by causing strokes. It damages kidneys, resulting in kidney failure. Besides, it can also cause blindness. The chances of developing complications are worse in the presence of conditions like diabetes, another common public health problem.
Hypertension contributes to nearly 9 million deaths every year. A substantial number of these deaths can be easily avoided through early detection, adopting simple preventive measures and keeping the blood pressure under control with regular medications. An annual check-up can easily detect if the patient has hypertension. Treatment usually involves daily medications, which may have to be taken for a lifetime under the careful guidance of a medical practitioner.
Simple measures that could help to prevent this deadly disease are:
• Cut down on salt intake. Salt is known to increase blood pressure
• Include a regular walk or other physical activity in your daily routine
• Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid excessive fats
• Avoid smoking and alcohol intake
• Control your weight
• And finally, reduce your stress and don't forget to relax when possible.