There’s a high chance you know someone with hypertension. Or perhaps you yourself are hypertensive. Or you could be at risk of developing high blood pressure and not even know it! Hypertension is a global problem affecting about 1.13 billion people worldwide. World Hypertension Day is observed on 17th May 2021 to raise awareness about this disease. So, here are a few things to keep in mind about hypertension.
Silence is deadly
Hypertension is a silent killer. Many people with high blood pressure do not know they have this problem. Because many people feel fine, they don’t think they need to get their blood pressure checked. This is why regular check-ups are important.
You can not hide behind your youth
High blood pressure doesn’t just affect older adults. It can affect youngsters too. Studies suggest 1 in 4 adults aged between 20 to 44 have high BP. Good diet, exercise, and staying away from bad habits can help you keep hypertension at bay.
The White Coat scare
Some people experience elevated blood pressure in the doctor’s office but not in other settings. This is called the white coat syndrome. It affects about 1 in 3 adults visiting the doctor’s office to check their blood pressure. Even if this is the case, blood pressure needs to be monitored regularly to get a fair estimate.
Research has shown that hypertension can affect your memories and cognitive function. Having high blood pressure between the age of 44 to 66 can lead to dementia in the later periods of life.
Know your risks
You’re at a higher risk of developing hypertension if you: are overweight; eat too much salt; don’t exercise regularly; do not eat enough vegetables and fruits; have disturbed sleep; drink too much caffeine; or are over 65 years of age.
A stitch in time
There are a few things you can do to prevent high blood pressure. These include sleeping well, managing stress, quitting smoking and alcohol, exercising regularly, lowering your sodium intake, etc. These practices can prevent persistent high blood pressure and the complications that accompany it.
Hypertension is a serious problem with a heavy global burden. Let us all join hands in raising awareness about the consequences of this disease and how to prevent it.
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