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More than 1B people expected to have hypertension by 2025

More than one billion people worldwide are expected to have hypertension by 2025, the World Health Organization says. AP/Philstar.com/File

MANILA,Philippines  In both developing and developed countries, hypertension is the leading cause of mortality. It was estimated by World Health Organization (WHO) that more than 1.56 billion people worldwide are expected to have hypertension by 2025, making the disease more alarming to healthcare providers.

Hypertension in Filipinos

According to the Department of Health (DOH), about eight out of ten people who had their first stroke are diagnosed with hypertension -  responsible for worsening the quality of lives of some 14 million Filipinos.

The DOH also revealed that more than 276 Filipinos die of heart disease on a daily basis and at least one Filipino suffers from stroke every nine minutes.

Survivors have a 75 per cent chance of becoming permanently disabled.

“You can have high blood pressure for many years without symptoms surfacing every now and then—what people don’t know is that the disease comes like a thief in the night,” said Dr. Amado Nazal, medical director of Pharex HealthCorp. 

He added, “This makes regular monitoring of blood pressure all the more important. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important whether you are already hypertensive or not; the challenge comes recognizing the disease and taking action before it leads to stroke.”

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No signs of early symptoms

What makes the numbers worse is that most people diagnosed with the condition have neither signs nor symptoms of the disease until they reach its life-threatening stages.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every five adults with hypertension is unaware of his or her disease, making prevention to deadly consequences such as stroke more difficult than ever.

“Hypertensive patients may experience frequent headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs won’t occur until their blood pressure rises to its peak,” said Nazal. “When left untreated, their high blood pressure may cause them serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke,” he said.

Changing lifestyle

Uncontrolled high blood pressure may trigger excessive pressure on a person’s artery walls, damaging the blood vessels and the body’s organs. 

Dr. Nazal said, “The first step to achieving lifestyle change is to set an appointment with your healthcare provider. If you suspect that you have hypertension, nothing comes more important than having your blood pressure checked to address it immediately.”

Furthermore, prioritizing lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking and staying physically active will go a long way in preventing high blood pressure and its complications.

“Hypertension is both preventable and treatable, only if you follow the right treatment procedures as prescribed by your doctor,” he said. “When you’re at home, it is best to cut down on salt, eat a balanced diet, and avoid harmful use of alcohol. More importantly, taking your medication to curb hypertension will help you minimize it.”

For hypertensive adults, there is an abundance of high-quality medicines at very low prices that they need to adhere to. If patients will not comply with their medication, Dr. Nazal said that “their quality of life will pay the price.”

He concluded, “Non-compliance to your therapy will cost so much more. Once hypertensive patients learn how to control their blood pressure, it will be easier for them to go back to their normal lives without the fear of having stroke or other chronic diseases.”

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