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Author Topic: World Health Day - High Blood Pressure or Hyper Tension  (Read 708 times)

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Sunday, 7th April 2013 is World Health Day.

World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7, to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948.

Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of public health concern in the world.

The theme for 2013 is HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE or HYPER TENSION.

Almost everyone knows someone who has experienced a mild heart attack or a severe stroke.

A few years ago, stroke used to be leading cause of 'brief illness' among old people 65 years and above. (Remember the obituary adverts?.. "With gratitude to God for a life well spent...he died after a brief illness"?).

Sadly, today we are hearing shocking but growing cases of young professionals and students suffering from stroke at the age of 35. There are now so many obituaries starting with "Gone too soon". Even now, the WHO puts the life expectancy of the typical Nigerian male at 47years.

This is disastrous as it means that more Nigerians are dying in their prime and most productive years. But even more is that since most Nigerian men marry in their early-thirty's (many of them 35+ years), it means that by 47 years, most of the deceased have children just under teenage years when those children need the departed parent for guidance and mentorship on their most critical life decisions.

And one of the leading killers of our nation's young aspiring and emerging leaders is high blood pressure or hypertension.

Most people say, with such a collapse of our social order, governance, security and infrastructure, there is so much tension (hyper-tension) naturally in the system.

All you need to do is arrive at our international airport from a business or vacation trip abroad (even from Ghana right beside us here) and you will understand what I mean.

It seems like everything and everyone (from heat, non-functioning air-conditioners & broken-down escalators, delayed baggage to immigration, baggage handlers, customs, touts, taxi drivers, policemen) is colluding and working together in perfect harmony to frustrate you and put you under pressure (aka tension).

The multiple potholes on our roads and the multitude of illiterate drivers (especially many bus/taxi drivers and most okada riders) who can't read a road sign and have never been proper driving/riding school, makes driving in Nigeria similar to a video game, dodging surprise attackers and minefields. Senseless traffic adds to this stress.

And if you read the newspapers and watch NTA and other local TV channels enough, you must be struggling to overcome depression daily.

In schools, barely-informed lecturers collude with PHCN to make learning and studying a herculean task, even if you had an interest. The thought of struggling through school to enter into the pool of unemployable graduates must be stress-inducing without a doubt.

So clearly, poverty will push the poor to the valley of death of hypertension/stroke, but interestingly, "POVERTY STRESS" now also brings the rich into the same neighbourhood of high blood pressure.

Poverty stress is the 'disease' of the rich, caught by trying to take care of the multitude of needs of the many poor people into their ecosystem (family, work, friends, old colleagues, neighbours, church members etc.)

I have always believed that "In the abundance of an impoverished lot, the privileged few are an endangered species".

Long and short, our operating environment naturally promotes the occurrence of this highly-effective serial killer called High blood pressure also known as Hypertension.

No wonder the WHO puts the estimated life expectancy of a typical Nigerian male at 47 years old. The real problem is that most Nigerian men get married in the early-mid 30's (mostly about 35 years). This means that by a 47-year old dead man will leave behind a young widow (in her late 30's) and a few children mostly under the age of 12years - which is when every child needs his/her father the most for guidance and mentorship on the most critical decisions in life.

Most 47 year old late-employees are not eligible for gratuity or pension and most business founded by a 47 year old man can rarely survive the death of its founder. So no serious financial support for the young grieving and beraved family of an average Nigerian who dies at our expected life span of 47 years.

Do you see how serious this challenge is? Can it be reversed or solved? W.H.O. says YES!!!!! High blood pressure in our physical body is both preventable and treatable.

In some developed countries, prevention and treatment of the condition, together with other cardiovascular risk factors, has brought about a reduction in deaths from heart disease, heart attack, stroke and blindness.

The most important information I want to leave you with tonight is that the RISK of developing high blood pressure CAN be reduced by:

- reducing salt intake;
- eating a balanced diet;
- avoiding harmful use of alcohol;
- taking regular physical activity;
- maintaining a healthy body weight;
- avoiding tobacco use.

Q: Why should you care to invest the time and effort in your maintaining your health?

A: Simple. Because Nigeria needs you alive and strong to deliver our future of a most desirable society.

Plus, an untimely death (especially the preventable one) is a huge waste of all the suffering you have endured this fall and all the investments you and your parents have put into your life.
Whether you like it or not, you MUST deliver returns oooo!

The physical and emotional losses as well as the financial cost of a burial (due to hypertension) is avoidable. The burden of raising the young children whose parents have passed on at such a tender age is regrettable yet avoidable according to the WHO.


There are many causes of death that we may not be able to avoid...but hypertension is an avoidable one. So, let's do all we can to avoid hypertension and high blood pressure.

Once again, some of the things you should start right away include:
- reducing salt intake;
- eating a balanced diet;
- avoiding harmful use of alcohol;
- taking regular exercise & physical activity;
- maintaining a healthy body weight;
- avoiding tobacco use.

I need you to be alive and well to build Nigeria into a most desirable nation by Dec 31, 2025.

Promise me that you will do all you can to stay healthy till then.

You can reduce the chances of a high blood pressure. Actually, you MUST!

God bless you.


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Hypertension kills nearly 1.5 mn every year in SE Asia: WHO

WHO recently estimated that among those aged 25 years in 2013, there are already about 199 million hypertensives currently.


High blood pressure or hypertension kills nearly 1.5 million people every year in South-East Asia making it the single-most important risk factor for non communicable diseases like heart attack and stroke, according to the World Health Organisation.

“Every individual has the power to prevent high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle – eating a balanced diet, reducing salt, regular exercise, avoid harmful use of alcohol, quitting tobacco and checking their blood pressure regularly” says Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.

The WHO is raising the alarm about high blood pressure on World Health Day 2013 which fell on April 7 this year.

In India, among adults one in three was found to have a raised blood pressure and about half of them remained undetected during WHO surveys.

“The number of hypertensives in India was expected to nearly double from 118 million in 2000 to 213 million by 2025.

"However, recently we estimated that among those aged 25 years in 2013, there are already about 199 million hypertensives currently (103 million men and 96 million women).

“In addition, many more have pre-hypertension; a precursor condition which if left unaddressed will convert to hypertension in about 4 years. Another recent analysis of global data also indicated an increase in hypertension in developing countries like India compared to declines in most developed countries,” says Dr Sailesh Mohan, Senior Research Scientist and Associate Professor at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

He further added that hypertension prevalence in adults had risen dramatically across India over the past three decades from about 5 per cent in certain rural and urban communities to between 20 per cent-40 per cent in urban areas and 12 per cent-17 per cent in rural areas.

“A number of reasons, most important the influence of rapid urbanisation has resulted in profound changes in people’s lifestyles leading to increased consumption of unhealthy diets (diets high in calorie, sugar, salt and fat, and low in vegetables and fruits), reduced physical activity levels due to mechanization of work and motorization.

“In addition, being overweight, alcohol and tobacco use are also other major contributing risks. With these non desirable lifestyle changes increasingly penetrating in rural areas, we are observing a narrowing of this difference,” says Mohan.

Programmes to reduce hypertension cases

Acknowledging hypertension as a serious global issue, in September 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the political declaration of the high-level meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, and committed governments to a series of actions.

Member states have agreed to nine global targets for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, which include reducing the prevalence of hypertension by 25 per cent by 2025.

“The government has recently initiated the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), with its coverage expected to increase from 100 to all 640 districts across India during the course of the 12th 5 year plan. It has hypertension as a key focus area,” says Mohan.

WHO is now developing a global plan of action for non-communicable diseases and will be assisting countries to develop national action plans to track progress in preventing and controlling such diseases, including hypertension, and their key risk factors.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disease in India currently both in urban and rural areas, accounting for 33 per cent and 23 per cent respectively of all deaths among those aged 25-69 years, and 24 per cent and 35 per cent respectively of all deaths among those aged 70 years or older. Since hypertension is the primary risk factor driving CVD, it is very critical to address it effectively.

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting regular blood pressure check ups once-a-year of self as well as of near and dear ones is a must. It is needed more frequently if one is over fifty years of age or if the blood pressure in the high normal range. Do not wait for symptoms to develop as by then it would be too late,” says Dr Anand Krishnan, Head, WHO Collaborating Centre for NCD Prevention and Control, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Keywords: High blood pressure, hypertension, South-East Asia, World Health Organisation, World Health Day 2013
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Dear All,

From the above, I want knowledgeable members of the forum to please educate me on:

               "avoid harmful use of alcohol"

Best regards,

Aare MacFally
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Increased potassium and reduced salt intake will cut down the risk of stroke and blood pressure


Increasing potassium in our diets as well as cutting down on salt will reduce blood pressure levels and the risk of stroke, research in the British Medical Journal suggests.

One study review found that eating an extra two to three servings of fruit or vegetables per day – which are high in potassium – was beneficial.

A lower salt intake would increase the benefits further, researchers said.

A stroke charity said a healthy diet was key to keeping stroke risk down.

While the increase of potassium in diets was found to have a positive effect on blood pressure, it was also discovered to have no adverse effects on kidney function or hormone levels, the research concluded.

As a result, the World Health Organisation has issued its first guidelines on potassium intake, recommending that adults should consume more than 4g of potassium (or 90 to 100mmol) per day.

The BMJ study on the effects of potassium intake, produced by scientists from the UN World Food Programme, Imperial College London and Warwick Medical School, among others, looked at 22 controlled trials and another 11 studies involving more than 128,000 healthy participants.

The results showed that increasing potassium in the diet to 3-4g a day reduced blood pressure in adults.

This increased level of potassium intake was also linked to a 24% lower risk of stroke in those adults.
Researchers said potassium could have benefits for children’s blood pressure too, but more data was needed.
Salt solution
A separate study on salt intake, led by researchers at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London, analysed the results of 34 previous trials involving more than 3,000 people.

It found that a modest reduction in salt intake for four or more weeks caused significant falls in blood pressure in people with both raised and normal blood pressure. This happened in both men and women, irrespective of ethnic group.

Lower blood pressure levels are known to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary, who led the study, said that the “modest reduction” in salt intake was equivalent to halving the amount of salt we consume each day.

“In the UK on average our dietary salt intake is 9.5g, so we are talking about bringing this down to 6g, or if you’re very careful you can get it down to the recommended 5g – but it’s very difficult because of the amount of salt already in the food we buy.

“Bread is the biggest source of salt in our diet.”

Long-term target
He added that a further reduction in salt intake to 3g per day would have a greater effect on blood pressure and should become the long-term target for population salt intake.

Getting people to eat more fruit and vegetables containing potassium was equally important, he said.

“Salt and potassium work in opposing ways. So a combination of lower salt and higher potassium in our diets has a bigger effect than changing just one of those factors alone.”

Clare Walton, research communications officer at the Stroke Association, said high blood pressure was the single biggest risk factor for stroke.

“We know that making changes to your diet can go a long way to keeping your blood pressure under control.

“This research suggests that reducing your salt intake and eating more potassium-rich foods such as bananas, dates and spinach could reduce blood pressure and keep your risk of stroke down.”

The World Health Organisation recommends that adults should not consume more than 5g of salt a day (about one teaspoon).
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Aare may you be blest for this timely information. I have learnt a lot about this "silent killer".

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From the above, I want knowledgeable members of the forum to please educate me on:

               "avoid harmful use of alcohol"
I want to believe this refers to abstinence or highly reduced (non -excessive) intake of alcoholic drinks and/or spirits. But how you define what is excessive might require expert medical opinion. In my view, quitting alcohol or taking not more than one bottle of beer in a day might be regarded as non-harmful.
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Aare may you be bless for this timely information. I have learnt a lot about this "silent killer".

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
From the above, I want knowledgeable members of the forum to please educate me on:

               "avoid harmful use of alcohol"
I want to believe this refers to abstinence or highly reduced (non -excessive) intake of alcoholic drinks and/or spirits. But how you define what is excessive might require expert medical opinion. In my view, quitting alcohol or taking not more than one bottle of beer in a day might be regarded as non-harmful.

@ Boss Tony -  Thanks for your timely response. 

I am thinking in line of your response because since I discovered  I am hypertensive some years back I have made it a policy to be taking one bottle of beer at any occasion (no matter how elaborate) just for socializing.  Quitting alcohol is ultimate but one needs to design a decisive programme for it.

Another one I don't know how to go about it is "reduction of salt intake".  Should I need to tell my wife to reduce the salt in the foods she cooks or what?  As we all know that cooked foods without salt are tasteless.  Kindly advise...

Best regards,

Aare MacFally
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Another one I don't know how to go about it is "reduction of salt intake".  Should I need to tell my wife to reduce the salt in the foods she cooks or what?  As we all know that cooked foods without salt are tasteless.  Kindly advise...
While I am not an expert in these matters, I did a Google search and came up with the below but I strongly advise you to also seek the opinion and counsel of a medical practitioner.

Reducing Salt/Sodium Intake
The reason for the redcution of salt intake is actually to reduce the excessive intake of Sodium which is one of the components of ordinary table salt. You can tell your wife to reduce the quantity, not necessarily eliminate it entirely.

Here's some more stuff from my search, you can also search google for reduce salt or sodium intake

Some Ways to Cut Sodium Intake
Cutting back on sodium is one action you can take to reduce your risk of high blood pressure and its related complications. Keep in mind that your taste buds are probably accustomed to a strong taste of salt, so limiting your consumption might take a little getting used to, but your health is worth it! Here are some sodium-cutting tips you can try today:

    Introduce additional flavor to your foods with herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, thyme and sesame. These all add flavor without the extra sodium. If a recipe calls for salt, cut the amount called for in half and taste it before adding more.
     
    Make healthy choices at the grocery store. Processed foods (anything in a box or bag) tend to be high in sodium because it helps preserve foods longer and increase flavor. Always read labels for the foods you buy, including the sodium content on the nutrition facts label and the ingredients list.
     
    Remember that "low-fat" or "low-calorie" doesn't mean healthy. These diet foods can also be higher in sodium because manufacturers hope that added sodium, a flavor-enhancer, will bring back the flavor that is missing since fat and other higher-calorie ingredients are removed. This is especially true for frozen dinners, which are often loaded with extra salt.
     
    Choose low-, no- or reduced-sodium versions of your favorite soups, frozen meals, canned foods, and snacks. Even butter is available without added salt!
     
    Choose fresh or frozen veggies over canned varieties, which often contain added salt to help increase shelf life. If you can't find sodium-free varieties of canned vegetables, rinse the can's contents in a colander under water before cooking to remove excess salt.
     
    Olives, pickles and other items packed in brine are saturated in salt, as are many smoked and cured meats, like salami and bologna. Limit your intake of these high-sodium foods and be on the lookout for lower-sodium varieties.
     
    Fast foods are high in more things than just fat. Many of these meals, sandwiches and fries contain more than your daily recommended intake of sodium in just one serving. When consulting restaurant websites to make healthy choices, pay attention to sodium levels as well. By keeping your portions in check (order a junior burger or small French fry instead of the big burgers and super fries) will help control your sodium (and caloric) intake.

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Lowering Your Salt Intake

By Alan L. Rubin, MD from High Blood Pressure for Dummies, 2nd Edition

Salt, which is made up of 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride, is critical to your life. You can't live without it. Sodium helps to maintain your blood's water content, serves to balance the acids and bases in your blood, and is necessary for the movement of electrical charges in the nerves that move our muscles.

It's generally believed that the inability of your kidney to excrete sodium is responsible for sodium-induced high blood pressure. By increasing blood pressure, more sodium is filtered by the kidney, enters the urine, and the body compensates for its inability to excrete sodium. This increased blood pressure helps to eliminate more sodium, but it also puts a strain on your arteries and sets the downward spiral of blood-pressure damage in motion — a vicious cycle.

The recommendation for sodium in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the American Heart Association is 2,400 milligrams (mg) daily for adults. This is about the amount in 1 teaspoon of salt (2,300 mg to be exact). The average American consumes 5,000 mg of sodium daily — twice the necessary amount. Normal sodium balance can be maintained with 500 mg daily (or a little more than one-fourth teaspoon of salt), so Americans are eating ten times as much as they really need. Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Portugal all have about the same recommendation of 2,400 mg of sodium. Some countries, such as Germany (4,000 mg), the Netherlands (3,600 mg) and Belgium (3,500 mg), are more liberal and at least one country, Sweden (800 mg), is more restrictive than the United States.

"Where is all this sodium coming from?" you may ask. Many foods (such as meat and fish) are natural sources of sodium while others contain salt added during processing (prepared soup and crackers, for example).

Surprisingly, you're responsible for only 15 percent of the sodium in your diet. Food has about 10 percent of your sodium already naturally in it. The food industry is responsible for adding 75 percent of the sodium that you consume each day to the prepared foods that you buy. For example, the following additives contain plenty of sodium:

    Color Developer: Promotes the development of color in meats and sauerkraut.

    Fermentation Controller: Keeps organic action in check in cheeses, sauerkraut, and baked goods.

    Binder: Holds meat together as it cooks.

    Texture Aid: Allows dough to expand and not tear.

For these and other reasons, salt is part of food processing. It may not be for taste.

The only way that you can successfully reduce the sodium in your diet is by switching from processed foods to fresh foods or selecting low-salt processed foods.
Buying low-sodium foods

The Food and Drug Administration has definite guidelines as to the terms a food company can use when describing the sodium in the food on the label. Keep these terms in mind and make a point of buying low-salt foods on your next trip to the grocery store:

    Sodium free means less than 5 mg sodium in a portion.

    Very low sodium means less than 35 mg sodium in a portion.

    Low sodium means less than 140 mg sodium in a portion.

    Reduced sodium food contains 25 percent less sodium than the original food item.

    Light in sodium food has 50 percent less sodium than the original food item.

    Unsalted, No salt added, or Without added salt means absolutely no salt has been added to a food that's normally processed with salt.

Take time to read the Nutrition Facts label on food items. Avoid items that contain more than 180 milligrams of sodium.
Avoiding high-sodium foods

The following processed foods are particularly high in sodium. Steer clear of these heavily laced edibles as much as possible. Fortunately, after many years of urging and recommendations from health organizations, manufacturers have begun to lower the sodium in foods, so you may find several of these foods in a low-salt form. Check the food label.

    Anchovies

    Bacon

    Bouillon cubes

    Canned soup

    Canned tuna

    Canned vegetables

    Cheese

    Cold cuts

    Condiments

    Cooking sauces

    Cottage cheese

    Croutons

    Gravy

    Ham

    Hot dogs

    Olives

    Pickles

    Salad dressings

    Salsa

    Sausage

    Sea salt

    Soy sauce

    Spaghetti sauce

    Tomato or vegetable juice

Going on a low-sodium diet

Besides avoiding high-sodium foods, you can make a few other changes to lower your salt intake:

    Cook with herbs, spices, fruit juices, and vinegars for flavor rather than salt.

    Eat fresh vegetables.

    Keep the saltshaker in the kitchen cupboard rather than at the table, where it's so easy to use.

    Use less salt than the recipe calls for.

    Select low-salt canned foods or rinse your food with water.

    Select low-salt frozen dinners.

    Use high-salt condiments, such as ketchup and mustard, sparingly.

    Snack on fresh fruits rather than salted crackers or chips.

    When eating out, ask that your food be prepared with only a little salt. Request your salad dressing "on the side" of the salad, so you can control the amount that goes on it.

Be careful of salt substitutes. Some contain sodium. Check the label. You could end up eating so much of the substitute in an attempt to get that salty taste that your total sodium intake is just as high as using salt.

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@ Boss Tony -  You are a great researcher.  I found the results of your research posted above and the links more than useful.  God helps you as you help others.

Best regards,

Aare MacFally
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Lower Pressure News Take Control of High Blood Pressure
   

 
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Knowledge Is Power – Seek For It

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@Aare, the Read More> link in the article you posted is not working. Perhaps you want to give us the URL so we can access it and read.


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