Hypertension increases risk of heart diseases, death: experts

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HEALTH experts along with the staff of the Dow Medical College hold a walk to mark World Hypertension Day 
on Monday.
HEALTH experts along with the staff of the Dow Medical College hold a walk to mark World Hypertension Day on Monday.

KARACHI: There is an urgent need to create public awareness about the serious health risks posed by hypertension — also known as high blood pressure.

This medical condition is getting very common these days and patients often report at hospitals when they have already developed a disease, according to the experts speaking at an event held at the Dow Medical College here on Monday.

The event, jointly organised by the cardiology department of the Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) and the Pakistan Hypertension League (PHL) was held in connection with World Hypertension Day.

Ways to control blood pressure to avoid the risk suggested as world observes hypertension day

Starting off with this year’s theme of World Hypertension Day, Prof Nawaz Lashari, head of the cardiology department, said it’s about measuring and controlling blood pressure that helped people live a healthy longer life.

‘A silent killer’

“There are risk factors that can be reduced without the use of medication, for instance low consumption of salt and sugar, having a balanced diet, daily exercise and less stressful life,” he said, adding that high blood pressure was a silent killer which could seriously damage various body organs including kidney and eyes.

Prof Noor Mohammad Soomro, the medical superintendent of the CHK, spoke about the facilities the hospital offered to heart patients who came from far-flung areas of the province and said the facility tried its best to help poor families.

Prof Ishaq representing the Pakistan Hypertension League said that for the first time in 2005 he felt that high blood pressure was taking the form of an epidemic.

“There is an urgent need for public awareness. There is an acute lack of awareness and neglect about this condition, which is a big risk factor for other diseases including heart disease and diabetes,” he said.

A patient with high blood pressure, he said, had to take regular medication otherwise he could end up risking his life.

“Hypertension can lead to severe health complications and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and sometimes death. Changes in dietary practices and lifestyle can help minimise its risk factors,” he said.

Prof Abdul Rashid, also representing the PHL, said it’s important for hypertensive patients especially those with other complications to closely monitor their blood pressure. Even low blood pressure should be treated, which could be a precursor to a major disease, if accompanied by high blood pressure.

Assistant Prof Ghulam Abbas, Dr Zaryab Ahmed and Dr Faisal Ahmed also spoke.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2020