50 per cent of people with high blood pressure are not aware
• Experts alert over dangers of self-medication
FIFTY per cent of people with high blood pressure are not aware their condition and risk having stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, paralysis, thickening of the arteries and several other diseases if ignored even as experts across the globe alert over rising cases of self medication and the potential adverse interaction with prescription medication.
As part of activities to mark the 2015 World Hypertension Day (WHD), yesterday, May 17, 2015, the International Society of Hypertension decried global statistics, indicating that only 50 per cent of those with hypertension were aware they actually had it and that only a few populations had an awareness rate of more than 75 per cent. And in some populations, awareness is very low, less than 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, medical experts across the globe are of the opinion that self-medication can often cause more harm than good.
Self-medication has potential adverse interaction with prescription medication, especially in hypertension, which patients fail to understand.
They said: “Hypertension should never be considered a minor health problem. The disease itself causes heart attacks, paralysis, renal failure, thickening of the arteries and several other diseases if ignored. A patient in such a situation should never think of self-medication.”
According the International Society of Hypertension, the WHD contributes to improving awareness of Hypertension. For the five-year period 2013-2018, the theme of WHD will be ‘Know Your Numbers’ with the goal of increasing high blood pressure awareness in all populations around the world.
Each year since 2006 on May 17th, the World Hypertension League (WHL), in close partnership with the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and other organizations, has hosted World Hypertension Day (WHD). For the five-year period 2013-2018, the theme of WHD will be ‘Know Your Numbers’ with the goal of increasing high blood pressure awareness in all populations around the world.
According to the International Society of Hypertension, to increase awareness of hypertension diagnosis, there are two critical components, namely: establish high capacity community screening programs for blood pressure in those at risk; and have all health care professionals routinely assess blood pressure at all clinical encounters. The WHL will work with member societies and partners to implement these strategies globally.
In 2014, the inaugural WHD campaign encouraged WHL members and partners to screen and submit blood pressure (BP) readings for over 100,000 people. Notably the 2014 goal was not only achieved but far-surpassed with over 300,000 being screened in over 30 nations (http://www.whleague.org/index.php/features/world-hypertension-day-report-draft).
Encouraged by the success and learning from 2014, the World Hypertension League challenge is to screen over one million people for WHD-2015 in alliance with heightened awareness of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and to make plans for an even greater screening challenge in 2016.