DON'T QUESTION IT, CHECK IT!
''WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW MIGHT KILL YOU''.
Do you know that hypertension is responsible for an estimated 45% of deaths due to heart disease and 51% of deaths due to stroke globally?
Do you know that hypertension, If left untreated, greatly increases the risk for heart attack and stroke?
Do you know that 66% percent heart attack sufferers are due to blood pressure higher than 130/80 mm Hg?
Do you know that 77% of stroke sufferers are due to blood pressure higher than 130/80 mm Hg?
Do you that in African countries, about 46% of adults aged 25 and above, have high blood pressure, according to World Health Organization (WHO) study?
It has so far been estimated that no fewer than 56 million Nigerians are at risk of high blood pressure, even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) calls for intensified efforts to prevent and control it.
According to W.H.O report, Nigeria is topping the list with 41percent for males and 39percent for female hypertension.
LAGOS, AS A CASE STUDY:
WHAT IS HYPERTENSION?
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is chronically elevated.
It results from the tightening of very small arteries called arterioles.
Arterioles regulate the blood flow through your body. As these arterioles tighten (or constrict), the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the smaller space, and the pressure inside the vessels grows.
If the pressure is too high, the heart has to work harder to pump, and this could lead to organ damage and several complications such as...
SYMPTOMS OF HYPERTENSION
- Sleeping problems
- Pounding feeling in the head or chest
- Feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Severe headaches.
- Problems with vision
- Chest pains
- Breathing problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine.
BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS
The normal blood pressure level is below 120/80, where 120 represents the systolic measurement (maximum pressure in the arteries) and 80 represents the diastolic measurement (minimum pressure in the arteries). Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called prehypertension (to denote increased risk of hypertension), and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered hypertension.
WHAT CAUSES HYPERTENSION?
Several factors have been associated with the condition. These include:
- Obesity or being overweight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High levels of salt intake (sodium sensitivity)
- Insufficient levels of calcium, potassium and magnesium in the body
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Alcohol consumption
- Medicines such as birth control pills
- Heredity (a family history of high blood pressure).
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal and thyroid problems or tumours
- High levels of stress
- Use of tobacco products.
- Using of oral contraceptives
- Diet high in saturated fat
- Physically inactive.
HOW IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE DIAGNOSED?
A visit to your doctor is the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure. Your doctor will take several blood pressure readings using a device called a sphygmomanometer and run a few routine tests.