High Blood Pressure

 

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is a major modifiable risk factor for Coronary Heart Disease and Strokes.  According to recent research, the prevalence of hypertension in Indians is 11.6% of the male population and 13.6% of the female population.  The overall adult urban rate is 12.7%.  Various large trials done all over the world have found that the incidence of strokes and heart disease decreases with control of High Blood Pressure.

 

A person does not usually know he/she is suffering from High Blood Pressure till it is checked.  Symptoms of headache or giddiness are notably unreliable in detecting High Blood Pressure or monitoring its course.  A person may have a BP of 240/140 and yet feel nothing and another person may have headache and giddiness and have a normal BP.

 

It is imperative for everyone to have his Blood Pressure checked at least once every year.

 

If the BP is high, it is not necessary for the person to be on drugs for the rest of his life.  If the rise of BP is mild, he/she maybe asked to come back for more readings in a relaxed manner before a diagnosis of high blood pressure is made.  There are various non-drug therapies for high blood pressure which the person maybe put on.

 

However, even if the person has to take pills for the rest of his life, it is a small price to pay to reduce his risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

 

Remember, High Blood Pressure, if found and treated early can prevent damage (which is usually irreversible) to various parts of the body, such as,

 

1.       The Brain

2.       The Heart

3.       The Kidneys

4.       The Eyes

 

Together with other risk factors like Smoking or High Cholesterol, the risk of heart disease is multiplied many times.  So, it is essential to be alert and not let High Blood Pressure go untreated.