World Hypertension Day: While high blood pressure itself can be a relatively quiet and inconspicuous disorder, it is perhaps the most common risk factor for heart disease
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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most common diseases in India and worldwide. It is estimated that at least one in three adults in our country has high blood pressure.
While high blood pressure itself can be a relatively quiet and unnoticeable disorder, it is perhaps the most common risk factor for heart disease and related deaths in adults.
High blood pressure can sometimes occur due to the underlying disease, but in most cases occurs without the causative disease. Improper stress management, salt imbalance, excess body weight, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, kidney disease – these are some common risks associated with high blood pressure.
In people with hypertension, when the heart tries to pump blood, it faces greater resistance to its efforts. Therefore, the heart muscle requires more effort to pump the required amount of blood into the circulation. Over the years, this leads to compaction and hypertrophy of the heart muscle, which reduces the heart’s ability to work efficiently. The constricted heart does not relax properly between beats, and thus does not receive enough blood to pump it according to the body’s requirements. Often this may not be an obvious problem when a person is resting but is exposed during a workout.
Medical standard guidelines, such as those of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), recommend lowering blood pressure to a target level of 130/80 mm Hg. in., but keep it at 120/70 mm Hg.
Holistic care should be aimed at achieving reasonable weight loss through recommended and supervised medical control of dietary nutrition as well as physical activity, stress management through meditation and appropriate coping mechanisms, regular blood pressure control, and general heart health, hypertension treatment and related factors risks, eliminating major diseases, if any, and maintaining a positive attitude towards health care in the long run.
Effective blood pressure control along with healthy lifestyle practices are the cornerstones for a better and healthier life.
The author is a senior interventional cardiologist at the Ramia Center for Cardiac Care, Hyderabad. Views are personal.
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