Beat high blood pres­sure with aware­ness and ac­tion – WHF

The Borneo Post - - HOME -

KUALA LUMPUR: High blood pres­sure is a silent killer as it usu­ally has no warn­ing signs, but sim­ple steps can cut your risk of dev­as­tat­ing health prob­lems, Man­ulife and the World Heart Fed­er­a­tion said yes­ter­day to mark World Hy­per­ten­sion Day.

In Malaysia, about 22 per cent of adults have el­e­vated blood pres­sure.

Aware­ness is the start. Hy­per­ten­sion is one of the main risk fac­tors for heart dis­ease and stroke – the world’s lead­ing causes of death – but many peo­ple do not re­alise their blood pres­sure is high.

World Heart Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Dr David Wood ad­vised peo­ple to see a doc­tor to get blood pres­sure checked.

“It’s quick and pain­less but it could save your life be­cause high blood pres­sure can be treated and pre­vented – of­ten by mak­ing a few changes to your diet, ac­tiv­ity lev­els and un­healthy habits,” he said.

Var­i­ous fac­tors con­trib­ute to the risk but high blood pres­sure does not ig­nore peo­ple based on age, af­flu­ence, gen­der or ge­og­ra­phy.

Glob­ally, about one in four adults has hy­per­ten­sion and it is ex­pected to af­fect more than 1.5 bil­lion peo­ple by 2025, ac­cord­ing to The Lancet med­i­cal jour­nal.

Among the ways to lower blood pres­sure in­clude stay­ing ac­tive by aim­ing for at least 30 min­utes of mod­er­ate ac­tiv­ity five times a week such as walk, dance, swim, do house­work chores or play a sport.

Make changes to the diet by cut­ting down on salt, sugar, fat and pro­cessed foods. Eat at least five por­tions ( hand­fuls) of fruit and veg­eta­bles ev­ery day. Also, re­duce the amount of al­co­hol in­take.

Stop smok­ing is the sin­gle best thing a smoker can do to im­prove heart health.

Main­tain­ing proper weight is also an im­por­tant as­pect to lead­ing a healthy life­style. Be­ing over­weight or obese raises the risk of high blood pres­sure.

The costs of ig­nor­ing hy­per­ten­sion are not just per­sonal. Hos­pi­tal treat­ment, med­i­ca­tion and lost work hours all add to the bur­dens on the econ­omy and so­ci­ety.

In Asia, home to half of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, the preva­lence of el­e­vated blood pres­sure ranges from highs of about 31 per cent in Mon­go­lia, 27 per cent in Nepal, 25 per cent in In­dia and 24 per cent in Cam­bo­dia to lows of 11 per cent in South Korea, 14 per cent in Singapore, 15 per cent in Aus­tralia and 17 per cent in Japan.

In China, more than 19 per cent of adults have el­e­vated blood pres­sure, with In­done­sia at nearly 24 per cent, Viet­nam above 23 per cent, the Philip­pines at nearly 23 per cent and Thai­land above 22 per cent.

These rates com­pare with about 13 per cent in the United States and Canada and about 15 per cent in the United King­dom.

Man­ulife Malaysia Group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer ( CEO) Mark O’ Dell said that hy­per­ten­sion is a se­ri­ous is­sue for mil­lions of peo­ple across the mar­kets they serve in Asia.

“As a ma­jor life in­surer, we want to help peo­ple live bet­ter lives. So we’re de­lighted to team up with the World Heart Fed­er­a­tion and help more peo­ple take steps to­wards a health­ier life­style,” he added.

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