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Hypertension a “major concern” for Health Ministry

[Press release] World Hypertension Day observance may have concluded, but the life-threatening effects of this epidemic continues.

Hypertension continues to be a major concern for Health officials. Also known as high blood pressure, this non-communicable disease can lead to a host of problems if left untreated.District Medical Officer, Dr. Shana Cyr-Philbert said, people should monitor and pay close attention to this life-threatening epidemic.
“High blood pressure is called the silent killer and it’s not by accident that we call it the silent killer. High Blood pressure can go unnoticed so persons would say, my neck is hurting me and my pressure is high but a lot of the times your blood pressure maybe high and you have no pain in your neck or no pain anywhere else until it’s too late when it has affected your kidneys, your eyes and your heart and so on. So persons need to first and foremost be aware, make an effort to go and get their blood pressure checked and know which numbers are normal and which numbers are not.”
Dr. Cyr-Philbert added that, anyone can suffer with hypertension.
“High blood pressure affects anybody at any age. Unfortunately high blood pressure is more common in the black race and especially since we live in the Caribbean most of us are actually black so we are already what we call pre-disposed to having high blood pressure. High blood pressure tends to affect persons who start to age but what we’ve seen is that the younger persons are having high blood pressure because our populations are mostly obese, they are more over weight and those would increase the risk of having high blood pressure.”
Meanwhile, the Minister for Health and Wellness, Sen. the Hon. Mary Isaac said, lifestyle changes can help control or lower chances of developing high blood pressure.
“Generally people should have a very active exercise program on a daily basis, regularly they should exercise. People for instance instead of driving to work every day they can park their vehicle at a certain distance and walk the rest of the way. Everybody wants to park right in front of the building where they work which is not necessarily healthy. So if we can start to look at walking more on a regular basis that helps. We also have to take in a lot of water regularly, drink a lot of water, as much water as possible because that helps, that goes a long way. I also would like to tell people who are already hypertensive to ensure that they take their medication on a regular basis and that they eat healthy, they stay with the diet that the doctors, nurses and nutritionists are giving to them, that they stick to their menu and they take generally good care of themselves. We also have a lot of people who drink a lot of alcohol in our society and that also is not a good thing for people with hypertension they have to stay off alcohol, stay off any kind of negative lifestyle, they have to be very careful to take care of their health so that they could live a little longer.”
Hypertension is a leading cause of death in the world and can lead to Strokes, Heart attacks, Kidney Failure and Blindness.

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