Though hypertension in itself is not a disease, it is dangerous because it can lead to alot of life threatening complications, said a consultant cardiologist, Dr Ada Nwakwo.
The cardiologist, who works in Gwarimpa General Hospital, Abuja said that hypertension or high blood pressure is also known as a silent killer – meaning that it has no symptoms.
“A person’s blood pressure can be as high as 200/100 without the person knowing it. “That is why it is important for everybody to get their blood pressure checked because that is the only way you can detect it,” she advised.
According to her, the sign of a high blood pressure is greater than or equal to.140/90. “To measure high blood pressure, you have too numbers: the one above is called systolic while the one bellow is called diastolic. When you have the one above as 140 or above and the one bellow 90 and above, that is when you say someone has high blood pressure.
Who is at risk?
Dr Ada said anybody can develop high blood pressure, but some factors like age, lifestyle, weight amongst others can increase a person’s risk?
The cardiologist noted that a healthy lifestyle goes a long way in preventing high blood pressure. She advised on low sodium (salt) intake, healthy diet and lifestyle modifications.
According to her, it is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five time a week.
This, alongside healthy diet will go a long way in reducing high blood pressure, she said.
“There are people who always add salt to their meal, salt intake should be greatly reduced. You can use more of the spices since they have some salt contents and that will reduce the amount of salt.
“Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fruits that contain potassium, because they help reduce high blood pressure. Fruits like bananna and orange help in controlling and preventing high blood pressure.” she advised.
Also, the Doctor identified alcohol and smoking as some of the risk factors for high blood pressure. She therefore advised that people should reduce alcohol and smoking.
“ When you are able to these things, they will help in controlling not just high blood pressure but diabetes and cholesterol level,” she said.
She said government should invest in awareness creation for people to check their blood pressure every three months or six months. “Everybody should check their blood pressure.”