Measurement of high blood pressure or Hypertension is one of the easiest method of diagnosing this disease. It needs very basic equipment and training to accurately measure this potentially lethal ailment. Yet it is ironic that very few Hypertensives are diagnosed correctly and even fewer receive treatment for the same. Perhaps even more ridiculous fact is that, despite best treatment of Hypertension only 50 percent of treated patients have their blood pressure well controlled.
Thus, putting in different terms, fewer than 1 in 5 persons with Hypertension have their blood pressure under well control.
Consequences of Hypertension
According to World Health Organization or WHO approximately 40 percent of world population is suffering from high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes and kidney disease. It is estimated that of the 17 million annual deaths related to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), 55 percent are directly linked to the complications of hypertension.
Management of Hypertension
There is a rule in medicine which is based on the principle that hight the risk of certain factor , greater is the benefit of treating the same.
Thus effectively treating high blood pressure is one of the most
cost-effective and powerful method of reducing mortality and morbidity due to this disease. Thus, it is seen that effectively lowering blood pressure to targe there is 35–40 percent reduction in the risk of stroke and 20–25 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and heart failure.
It has been inferred that South Asians, in particular, Indians are are at a highest risk category for the complications of hypertension. Progressively increasing incidence of Diabetes and obesity in India is making matters worse. It is estimated that of all hypertensive patients of different nations, Indians have a very low rate of blood pressure control which is about 15 % of Hypertensive population. Thus it is of paramount importance that correctable measures are adopted by the Government, lawmakers, health providers and public at large. We need to diagnose this silent disease early and enforce effective management strategies for this missed diagnosis disease.
Individually, as always, prevention is always better than cure. Of all healthy habits of regular exercise, avoiding tobacco, reducing weight and eating healthy diet, the greatest benefit might be achieved by reducing salt in diet. This has been proved to be one of the most effective strategy for reducing blood pressure. By reducing salt in diet to 2,300 mg of sodium a day which is the equivalent of about 1 teaspoon of salt and ideally, no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults, substantial fall in blood pressure readings were noted. It was observed that 4 to 6/ 2 to 4 mm Hg blood pressure could be lowered by such measures.
In summary, Hypertension is major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Perhaps the greatest risk with this ailment lies in omitting the diagnosis of this ailment and not abiding by the treatment protocols. And lastly adhering to heart healthy lifestyle modification measures and compliance with the drug treatment can reduce the damaging consequences of this disease.