12:00 AM, May 15, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 15, 2010

World Hypertension Day

Healthy weight-healthy blood pressure

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Dr Md Shamim Hayder Talukder and Shusmita Hossain Khan

Hypertension is a silent killer. Over a period of time it leads to stroke, heart attack, kidney and eye damage and other deadly consequences. Overweight and obese people have more chance to develop hypertension (HTN) and its fatal complications than other.
Maintaining a healthy weight hence is the crucial step to prevent or control hypertension. Every year, May 17 is dedicated to World Hypertension Day (WHD), which is an initiative of the World Hypertension League (WHL). The theme for this year is “Healthy Weight-Healthy Blood Pressure” intends to bring about public awareness of overweight/ obesity and its immediate effect on hypertension.
Hypertension or high blood pressure (BP)is classified as either primary (essential) or secondary. The term primary hypertension is used when no medical cause can be found and represents about 90-95 percent of cases.
Secondary hypertension is the result of another condition, such as kidney disease. Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and arterial aneurysm and is a leading cause of chronic renal failure.
In individuals older than 50 years, hypertension is considered to be present when a person's blood pressure is consistently at least 140 mmHg systolic (upper reading) or 90 mmHg diastolic (lower reading).
Hypertension is usually asymptomatic and hence it is called silent killer. But accelerated hypertension is associated with headache, somnolence, confusion, visual disturbances, and nausea and vomiting.
The reason for which we should care for hypertension is that by the year 2025, approximately 1 in 3 adults aged over 20 years — 1.56 billion people worldwide — will have hypertension. Being overweight can lead to hypertension. A weight loss of 5 to 10 pounds can lower and help control blood pressure. Weight loss can also decrease blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels which in turn lessen the incidence of stroke, heart failure, aneurysm, type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer and kidney failure — all of which can be fatal. So, paying attention to your weight can ultimately create better overall health.
Two good ways to monitor your weight is to regularly keep tabs on your waist circumference and Body Mass Index (BMI). Recommended healthy waist circumference for the adult male is less than 95cm (38 inches) and adult female it is less than 80cm (32 inches). Some vital ways to reduce weight as well as blood pressure include regular exercise, limiting salt in diet, limiting alcohol, eating less fat. Increasing potassium intake, quitting smoking, taking medication regularly help control blood pressure.

The writers are officials of Eminence.

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