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High BP can silently damage the body for years before any symptoms develop. It is, in fact, one of the known risk factors for Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) and can even cause a deadly heart attack or stroke. Moreover, blood pressure often damages blood vessels, even more when an individual smokes, has diabetes, has high cholesterol, and is obese. Therefore, it is crucial to control high blood pressure to reduce the risk of life-threatening complications associated with CVD. Dr Sudheer Koganti, Consultant Cardiologist, Citizens Specialty Hospital, Hyderabad shares how improving hypertension control can save more lives.
It is the measure of the pressure when your heart relaxes between beats. Blood pressure keeps going up and down throughout the day and night, and it's normal to go up while you're moving about or doing some activity. The three different blood pressure categories are low, medium, and high.
While most people develop high blood pressure because of their diet, lifestyle or medical condition, sometimes it runs in families. Some other factors increasing your risk of getting high blood pressure include:
- Being Obese
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Having too much salt
Other causes of secondary hypertension include:
- Kidney Disease
- Medicines, such as oral contraceptives
The most common heart-related complications of hypertension are ischemic heart disease and heart failure. Besides increasing the pressure of blood flowing through the arteries,High BP may cause:
After 60 years, women are more likely than men to get high blood pressure. Besides, factors like pregnancy, birth control, and menopause further increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Here is what you can do:
Any comorbidity or family history of hypertension.
Reduce your daily intake of sodium. High sources of sodium include fast foods, precooked meals, processed meats, canned and dried soups, and salty snacks.
Consume fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, beans, etc.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet lower in salt and saturated fat.
Be physically active.
Achieve and maintain healthy body weight.
Avoid smoking, and if you don't smoke, minimize exposure to secondhand smoke.
Find healthy ways to manage your stress. Remember to take time out and pursue hobbies - singing, dancing, or writing.
Thus, if hypertension is diagnosed early and controlled effectively while no other risk factors are present, the risk of heart attack and heart-related complications can be significantly reduced.
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