By Dr. Balbir Singh in Cardiac Sciences

May 17 , 2021 | 1 min read

Hypertension is the commonest ailment world over and is associated wit high morbidity and mortality. It is responsible mainly for brain strokes, heart failure and kidney failure. As we know more we understand that early diagnosis and adequate treatment is so important.

Is hypertension common in India -

 It is estimated that about 22-40% of adults in age above 40 yrs have high blood pressure in Urban India and about 12 to 20 % in Rural India. But the worst is the fact that 60 to 70 % of the people surveyed did not know about high BP which means that hypertension is a silent disease and unless checked many will not be aware of this and if I put more firmly its clear it’s a silent killer.

What BP figure is required to be classified as Hypertension –

As per several hypertension society guidelines any one having either Systolic BP more than 140 mm or diastolic more than 90 mm are to labelled as hypertension and be treated .

What should be the target blood pressure with treatment –

At present several effective and safe drugs are available so it is recommended to bring BP to 130/80 to produce maximum benefit this was based out of the data from SPRINT trial which was conclusive that a target of 130/ 80 is associated with reducing the number of heart attacks, brain strokes and kidney failure.

Dietary and lifestyle changes –

Reducing salt intake so that daily amount be less than 1500 mg, increasing potassium however helps. The foods rich in potassium are green leafy vegetables, fish, white beans, potatoes,  milk, mushrooms, bananas, cooked tomatoes ,  lemon and citrus fruits . Avoiding food rich in saturated fats and simple sugars is recommended for all. Daily physical exercise and mental relaxation is equally important.

Hypertension is increasing in numbers worldwide and also being associated with many deaths, so simple advice such as checking BP regularly in all individuals, having low salt intake and eating fruits vegetables and exercising regularly will be beneficial to the society. Those who have high BP should be regularly treated with effective and safe drugs to save a large number of deaths .