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Hypertension: Cardiologist advises against smoking, excessive alcohol


A Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Ramon Moronkola, has advised people to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, sedentary life style and stress in order to reduce the risk of hypertension.

Moronkola, who works with Kleinburg Medical Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the occassion of World Hypertension Day.

NAN reports that World Hypertension Day is celebrated annually on May 17 to educate the public and increase awareness of hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure.The theme for World Hypertension Day 2019 is ‘Know Your Numbers’, with a goal of increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world.


According to him, people should realise that hypertension has been tagged a silent killer which do not have symptoms until they develop complications. “World Health Organisation (WHO) says prevalence of hypertension is rising in Nigeria which makes Nigeria one of the major contributors to global burden of hypertension.

“About one-third of our adult population is hypertensive. We also noticed that younger people develop hypertension compared to the past.
“Recently, we observed that increasing prevalence of hypertension can be caused by our westernisation of life style. “Most people are also less active and they consume more of junk foods which are high in salt, refined sugar and fat, they can also lead to obesity.

“It is also possible that increase in awareness has allowed we medical practitioners to diagnose more people compared to the past,” Moronkola said.He said that heart failure was one of the complications of hypertension which could be avoided by early detection as well as prompt and appropriate treatment of hypertension.“You don’t have to be hypertensive before you check your blood pressure regularly since that is the only way to eventually know when you become hypertensive.

“The risk from hypertension is negligible if the blood pressure is controlled all the time by adhering to lifestyle modifications and or drugs.“The less common type of hypertension which is secondary hypertension has direct causes such as kidney disease, thyroid disease and hormonal problems.

“Essential hypertension which is the most common has more than 95 per cent of cases but has no direct causes.“However there are risk factors that put an individual at a high risk of developing essential hypertension.“These risk factors include old age, male gender, black race, family history of hypertension, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and high salt intake

“People should know that anybody that develops complications should be taken immediately to the hospital and avoid self medication,” Moronkola said.He also urged government at all levels to do more on achieving universal health coverage which would help people to have accessibility to life saving intervention.


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