12:00 AM, February 02, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 02, 2013

Chase the challenge: control high blood pressure

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Star Health Desk

High blood pressure can easily be manageable. Yet it remains a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney disease. As it usually remains silent, many people do not know that they have high blood pressure. In more than half cases, including many receiving treatment, have blood pressure that remains too high to be healthy.
A normal blood pressure is lower than 120 over 80. Although there is a huge number of drugs available to control blood pressure, many people are still at increased risk of disease, disability and premature death.
Experts identified certain common and correctable reasons in this regard. Many people affected never or rarely see a doctor who checks their pressure and that is why they are ignorant about it.
Among people who are aware of their condition, some do not appreciate how serious it can be and fail to get treated, even when their doctors say they should.
Some who have been treated develop bothersome side effects, causing them to abandon therapy or to use it haphazardly. Many others do little to change lifestyle factors, like obesity, lack of exercise and a high-salt diet, that can make hypertension harder to control.
Again, some people with hypertension who are currently being treated are taking the wrong drugs or the wrong dosages of the right ones.
With so many drugs available, doctors should take into account many factors while prescribing the drugs. They should consider the underlying causes of each patient’s high blood pressure and the side effects that may prompt patients to abandon therapy.
When treatment is tailored to the individual, nearly all cases of high blood pressure can be brought and kept under control with available drugs and at a reasonable cost.
Experts said that no new drugs need to be developed for most people. We just need to use them better.
Tips for measuring blood pressure:
-Sit quietly for a few minutes, without talking, after putting on the cuff and before checking your pressure.
-Check your pressure in one arm only, and take three readings (not more) one or two minutes apart.
-Check your pressure at random, ordinary times of the day, not just when you think it is high.

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