World Hypertension Day


    By Olaleye Olajuyin

    Hypertension, a cardiovascular disease together with its counterparts like stroke, heart disease and diabetes continue to be the leading cause of death worldwide, especially in the United State of America. it is defined as a condition in which the blood vessel have persistently raised pressure i.e. the rate of blood force against the arteries walls is extremely high.

    Blood pressure is calculated in two numbers, this is systolic and diastolic, the systolic number represents the heart pressure in the blood vessels when the heart contracts, while the diastolic pressure represent the heart pressure when the heart is in arresting state. These together give a correct blood pressure.

    According to WHO, about 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, 1 in 5 women have hypertension in 2015.  Sadly, only < 1 in 5 people with hypertension have the problem under control.Tweet


    The major and modifiable risk factor of hypertension, especially in this part of the world, includes unhealthy diets (high salt intake, a diet high in trans fats and saturated fats, low intake of fruits and vegetables).

    Another cause of hypertension is physical inactivity, consumption of tobacco and alcohol and being overweight or obese.
    It is worthy of note to also know that hypertension is highly genetic, it can be transferred from parent to offspring and it comes with coexisting diseases like diabetes and kidney disease.


    Hypertension at the early stage may not / doesn’t show noticeable symptoms, because of this it is referred to as silent killer, so it is advisable that you monitor your blood pressure regularly.

    When symptoms do occur they can include muscle tremor, fatigue, persistent chest pain, anxiety, confusion, and early morning headache.


    Hypertension can cause serious damage to the heart as excessive blood pressure can harden the heart, destroy the parties and finally stops the flow of blood.

    This elevated pressure can cause heart attack which occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked and the heart muscle dies due to lack of oxygen supply, heart failure which occurs when the heart stops pumping of blood to various organs and irregular heartbeat which can cause death within minutes.


    Hypertension can be prevented by:

    1. Lowering salt intake, 
    2. Eating more healthy foods like fruits and vegetable, 
    3. Regular exercise to burn excess fats, avoiding smoking, 
    4. Reducing alcohol consumption and reducing intake of saturated fats.

    In conclusion, been diagnosed of hypertension is not a death sentence, you can control it and live long by adhering to all your doctor`s instruction, regularly checking your blood pressure, reducing and managing mental stress and giving yourself a peace of mind.

    Written by OLAJUYIN OLALEYE.

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