Half of Indians unaware of their hypertension status and have not received a diagnosis
The condition is a silent killer and damages other organs over time
Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in India. It is defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140/90 mmHg. Hypertension generally doesn't cause any outward signs or symptoms but silently damages blood vessels, and other organs. There is a need to create awareness about the fact that hypertension is not a disease but a sign that something is wrong in the body.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, "The prevalence of hypertension in Indian adults has shown a drastic increase in the past three decades in urban as well as rural areas. It is important to get an annual checkup done after the age of 30 even if you have no family history of hypertension, are not diabetic or don't have any other lifestyle-related disorder. For those in the high-risk category, a checkup is advised every month. Hypertension can be prevented provided a person makes necessary lifestyle changes right at the outset. It is also imperative to spread the message of prevention and encourage people across various age groups to check their blood pressure at regular intervals."
Some signs and symptoms of hypertension include dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes chest pain, palpitations, and nosebleeds.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, "High blood pressure imposes an up-front burden in people who know they have it and who are working to control it. It adds to worries about health. It alters what you eat and how active you are, since a low-sodium diet and exercise are important ways to help keep blood pressure in check. Some people need medication and may need to take one or more pills a day, which can be a costly hassle."
Some tips from HCFI.
· Achieve and maintain a healthy weight for your height
· Exercise regularly
· Eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
· Limit sodium intake to under 2,300 milligrams a day (one teaspoon of salt) and get plenty of potassium (at least 4,700 mg per day) from fruits and vegetables
· Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
· Reduce stress
· Monitor your blood pressure regularly, and work with your doctor to keep it in a healthy range
Dr K K Aggarwal