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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Hypertension: Experts advise on regular check-up

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The Nigerian Hypertension Society on Monday emphasised the need for regular medical check-up as part of measures to reduce the risk of complications from hypertension.

The body, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, also cautioned against excessive intake of salt to minimise complications that could threaten life spans.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the statement co-signed by the group’s President, Prof. Ayodele Omotoso, and the Secretary General, Prof. Kolawole Wahab, was to commemorate this year’s World Hypertension Day (WHD).

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which there is sustained elevation of blood pressure above a threshold of 140 mmHg systolic and 90 mmHg diastolic in an adult.

The WHD is celebrated every May 17 to increase global awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control the disease.

According to the statement, the theme for the 2021 WHD – Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer – is targeted at increasing awareness and ensuring accurate blood pressure.

It is also targeted at detecting and controlling hypertension in order to prevent premature death, it added.

It said that a screening conducted by the Society in 2018 showed that hypertension was present in one-third of the population with only half of those affected aware of being hypertensive, while only 18 per cent of all hypertensive persons had their blood pressure controlled.

“The proportion of Nigerians with hypertension is high, while awareness, treatment and control rates are low in spite of the availability of potent drugs,” it said.

The statement said that hypertension was the number one cause of preventable death worldwide, adding that its complications also affect the social and economic life of the people.

“Unfortunately, hypertension only announces its presence in most people after development of complications like stroke, heart failure, heart attack or kidney failure,” it observed.

On reducing the negative consequences of hypertension, the society advised those with hypertension to consult their medical practitioners for proper advice and management.

“If you are hypertensive, please take your medications regularly to achieve a good blood pressure control and thus prevent complications like stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure which can shorten lifespan.

“You must also avoid excessive salt consumption as this is strongly linked to development of hypertension or poor control of same,” the statement added.

It also encouraged people to engage in physical exercises, monitor weight gain, eat healthy diets and avoid unhealthy lifestyles like smoking and alcohol consumption.

The statement said that the society, in collaboration with the International Society of Hypertension and other partners, would engage in mass screening for undetected or undertreated hypertension nationwide, from May to November.



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