`Hypertension Is A Silent Killer` `Most Common Chronic Illness In The United States`

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Dr. Kshetrimayum Kala Singh

This year the World Health Day is Celebrated on 7th April to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO (World Health Organisation) in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of Public health Concern in the world.

The theme for 2013 is “HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE” also known as hypertension. We call it “SILENT KILLER”.

What is high blood Pressure or Hypertension ?

Blood Pressure is merely the Pressure that the Blood exerts on the blood vessels, while circulating. It is measured with an instrument called Sphygmomanometer. The normal Blood Pressure is 119/79 mmHg. If it is 120-139/80-89 mmHg, it is Prehypertension. When it reaches 140/90 mmHg, it is called Stage 1 Hypertension.

There are two types of hypertension, Essential (Primary) & Secondary. The exact etiology of Primary is unknown and there are definitely causes in Secondary hypertension. Many factors are responsible for the Primary Cause. They are.

a) Hereditary :- Most experts believe that hereditary does play a role in causing high blood pressure.

b) Excess intake of Salt :- That an excessive intake of common salt (Sodium Chloride) elevates the blood pressure is an indisputable.

c) Mental tension and approach :- All researchers accept the role of menial tension and negative thinking in the development of blood Pressure.

d) Obesity (Excessive Weight):- The incidence of high blood Pressure is 2 ½ times more in obese than in normal personal.

e) Sedentary life :- The incidence of high blood pressure is much higher in sedentary persons than in Physical laborers.

f) Smoking :- The incidence of high blood Pressure has been found to be higher in smokers. Smokers more often fall Victims to atherosclerosis, heart attack and cerebral hemorrhages.

g) Alcohol Consumption :- The incidence of high blood pressure in drinking is 2½ times higher than that in non – drinkers.

h) Age :- High blood pressure is common in older age group.

Prevalence : One in three adults worldwide has high blood pressure. The proportion increases with age from 1 in 10 people in their 20s & 30s to 5 in 10 people in their 50s. 70 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide have high blood pressure. The global burden of hypertension is rising and Projected to affect 1.5 billion persons, one third of the world’s population by the year 2025.

In India, it was reported on 1995 from Jaipur, the incidence of Hypertension was 30% in male and 33% in female. Again on 1999 the incidence at Mumbai was 44% in male and 45% in Female. In Manipur there is no clear cut study report but many Hypertensive patients are brought to the hospitals with severe complications.

Signs and Symptoms

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it often does not produce any signs or symptoms to some patients. Patient may have headache, dizziness or nosebleeding, palpitation, muscle cramps, giddiness, burning of eyes, distended neck veins, insomnia, neck pain & vertigo. But some patients have high blood pressure for years without every knowing it. Sign and symptoms typically don’t occur until high blood pressure has advanced to a higher possibility of life threatening-stage.

Hazards of High Blood Pressure 

In patients of high blood pressure the blood vessels are narrow, hard and brittle. This disorder is term atherosclerosis. Heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure and cerebral haemorrhage are the natural consequences of high blood pressure. Also it shortens the life and drags its victim to a premature death.

Prevention of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is preventable and treatable. The old adage, ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is especially true for high blood pressure.

• Reducing salt intake 2-4 gms/day, avoid salty foods as much as possible.

• Eating a balance diet.

• Avoiding harmful use of alcohol.

• Taking regular physical activity at least 1 hr per day.

• Avoid tobacco use.

• Control Blood cholesterol and blood sugar.

• Sound sleep at night. Sleep 2 hrs gap after dinner.

The ultimate goal of World Health Day 2013 is to reduce heart attacks and strokes

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