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World Hypertension Day 2024: Know the dangers of uncontrolled high blood pressure

World Hypertension Day 2024: Know the dangers of uncontrolled high blood pressure

World Hypertension Day 2024: Know the dangers of uncontrolled high blood pressure

Mangalore Today News Network/NDTV

May 17, 2024: Hypertension commonly known as high blood pressure, is often referred to as the "silent killer." The condition represents a major global health alarm because it is one of the leading causes of premature death worldwide. World Hypertension Day is celebrated every year on May 17th to raise awareness and emphasise on its early detection. To lead healthier and longer lives, one needs to understand why hypertension kills and how lifestyle choices can help mitigate its effects.



Hypertension may result from various causes: lifestyle, stress level, age and hereditary factors. Therefore, it is crucial not to overlook symptoms but to remain watchful. Regular medical check-ups are necessary for early detection and management of this disease.

There exist several reasons why hypertension poses a danger:

* Heart disease and stroke: High blood pressure can damage the arteries resulting in loss of elasticity and becomes narrower or blocked which causes heart attacks and strokes.
* Kidney damage: Excessive fluids and waste materials are removed by kidneys from the blood system. The vessels which transport blood in the kidneys get damaged due to increased blood pressure in them ending up with kidney failure or kidney diseases.
* Vision loss: Hypertension leads to damaged blood vessels of the eyes hence causing impaired vision and resulting in blindness eventually.

Multiple factors contribute to the high blood pressure:

* Lifestyle choices: Unhealthy diets, particularly those high in salt, fats, and sugar, can increase blood pressure. Lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol intake do cause hypertension.
* Stress: Chronic stress can contribute to hypertension by promoting unhealthy habits such as overeating or smoking.
* Age and hereditary factors: The risk of hypertension increases with age and can also be influenced by heredity factors.
* Socioeconomic factors: Limited access to healthcare and educational resources about healthy living can lead to higher rates of hypertension in certain populations.

Choosing a healthier lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of developing hypertension or help manage it if already diagnosed. Below are some effective strategies:

* Healthy diet: It is important to embrace a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
* Reduce salt intake: It is important to reduce salt consumption as it triggers high blood pressure. If someone is already detected with hypertension it is important to reduce the intake of sugar as it might cause harm to their body.
* Regular exercise: Engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming will reduce the risk of hypertension.
* Limit alcohol: Alcohol consumption must be kept at moderate levels. Drinking alcohol regularly will affect the muscles in the blood vessel and will make them narrower which will put pressure on the heart to push the blood around the body that will end up causing high blood pressure.
* Quit smoking: It is essential to cut down on smoking as it damages blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Quitting smoking can improve overall heart health and lower the risk of hypertension.
* Manage stress: Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure.
* Regular check-ups: Regular monitoring of blood pressure and routine visits to the doctor can help detect hypertension early and manage it effectively.

Each year, millions of people are affected by hypertension and is a major challenge for public health. The majority of cases are avoidable through lifestyle modifications, hence manageable. By including healthy eating habits into one’s diet, exercising regularly and adapting stress management techniques among others people can cut down on their risks for hypertension and related complications.

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