By: Niranjana Naveen
Every year, May 17 is observed as World Hypertension Day across the globe to create better awareness and educate people about a medical condition that arises due to high blood pressure. What is blood pressure? Well, it is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of our arteries.
According to the NICE guidelines (2019), Hypertension is when the blood pressure reaches 140/90 mmHg in clinical reading or 135/85 mmHg in ambulatory or home reading.
But why does blood pressure shoot up? 95% of hypertension cases occur without any external triggers. However, secondary causes broadly include Renal disease (associated with the kidneys), obesity, pre-eclampsia and Endocrine conditions like hyperaldosteronism.
Based on the blood pressure readings and their consequential severity( heart attack, heart failure and sudden cardiac death in worst cases), it is essential to consult a medical professional regardless of the Diagnosed stage.
So how do medical professionals fix this? Initial treatment involves investigating and ruling out possible risk factors such as organ
failures and providing advice on improved lifestyle changes, including a better diet, proper exercise, reduced intake of salt and alcohol and additional potassium supplements. Treatment varies according to age group, gender and other factors.
An interesting point to note here is that African/ Caribbean descendants are more prone to developing this condition. However, the cause of racial disparities in elevated blood pressure and hypertension-related outcomes remains unclear.
Even with a staggeringly high casualty rate and substantial effects on patients, HBP is barely considered a medical threat or even remotely severe. Thus, we need a global commemoration day for better global awareness of preventing and curing this “silent killer”.
To know more about Hypertension: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension