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Measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer, says NHF

By Abigail Ikhaghu
26 May 2022   |   4:07 am
Medical experts have warned that more than one billion people are living with hypertension and the figure is estimated to increase to 1.5 billion by 2025.

Photo: PIXABAY

Medical experts have warned that more than one billion people are living with hypertension and the figure is estimated to increase to 1.5 billion by 2025.

They said cardiovascular disease (heart disease) is the commonest cause of death affecting about 38 per cent of the adult population. Hypertension which is described as “The Silent Killer” is the number one heart disease affecting about 38 per cent of the adult population and is also the main risk for stroke, heart attack (coronary heart disease), chronic kidney disease, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms and dementia.

Chairman, Nigerian Health Foundation (NHF) Hypertension Committee, Prof. Basden J. C Onwubere, who spoke during a zoom meeting organised by NHF to commemorate the World Hypertension (WHD) revealed that more than half of the individuals living with hypertension are unaware of it as awareness levels in some of these countries are less than 30 per cent.

He said a nationwide survey in Nigeria published about two decades ago by Prof. Oladapo Olujimi Akinkugbe and other team of researchers showed awareness level for hypertension is 30 per cent and recent publications have not shown any significant improvement in this regard. Onwubere said more than 70 per cent of those with hypertension are unaware of it though the population in Nigeria has increased significantly over the last decade.

Onwubere advised that to maintain adequate control of hypertension, it is advisable to reduce salt consumption and maintain policy of “No Added Salt” after food has been prepared with appropriate quantity of salt.

“Choose a healthy diet which includes vegetables and fruits, say no to smoking as smoking has no known benefits and also limit alcohol consumption,” he said.

Onwubere further advised that it is better to maintain healthy weight, avoid sedentary lifestyles and exercise at least 30 minutes daily.

Executive Director of NHF, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, said that NHF is partnering with some Grass root government, pharmaceutical companies, churches, schools, hospitals and others to ensure the news about hypertension and its reduction can be spread across all corners of the nation.

Akinroye said, “There is a charge to the government, medical experts, institutional bodies, elites and the like to go back to our communities and create awareness about hypertension on ways in which it can be prevented and controlled.”

WHD Is celebrated on May 17 every year to raise awareness on hypertension and broaden appropriate knowledge of people about hypertension.

The WHD was instituted in May 2005 by the World Hypertension League (WHL), which is composed of many hypertension societies and leagues from all over the world.

The theme for this year is, “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”.