Hypertension is an avoidable evil | Health | Magazine

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

There are 1.6 million deaths from cardiovascular disease in the Americas region each year. Of these, about half a million are people under the age of 70, which is considered a premature and preventable death, according to information collected and published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

In America alone, hypertension affects 20 to 40% of the adult population. This means that around 250 million people suffer from high blood pressure on the continent, according to PAHO.

And while it can be prevented or delayed, the toll continues to rise and more young people are affected, many of whom don’t even know it.

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For this reason, and in conjunction with World Hypertension Day (celebrated annually on 17 May), accurate blood pressure measurement is promoted in 2024 as a key to effective diagnosis, prevention and control.

What is hypertension or high blood pressure?

This is a disease in which the blood vessels have constant high tension. Blood is distributed from the heart throughout the body through blood vessels, says Dr. Landy Rodriguez, a cardiologist at Omni Hospital.

“Blood pressure is created by the force of blood against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as the heart pumps blood. The higher the tension, the harder it is for the heart to work,” he explains.

Hypertension has a genetic component, that is, it is inherited. But it develops due to an environmental component: an incorrect lifestyle.


High blood pressure predisposes you to the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system, brain and kidneys. “There is a clear correlation with myocardial infarctions, strokes and kidney dysfunction, which are the leading causes of death in the country,” says cardiologist Rodriguez.

How to prevent hypertension?

You need to make changes to your lifestyle, such as eating a diet rich in fiber, vegetables and lean proteins. Salt consumption needs to be reduced. You should engage in 120 minutes of moderate physical activity per week in a controlled manner depending on your age. No smoking. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, check your blood pressure regularly, etc.

Why is hypertension considered a silent disease?

It’s called that because in most cases, the patient adapts to life with high blood pressure or attributes symptoms such as headaches and dizziness to other causes, the expert says.

It is also a “silent disease” because there are cases where symptoms rarely occur, doctors agree. And if it is not controlled in time, it can cause fatal health consequences.

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Therefore, regularly measuring blood pressure should be a vital practice for all adults to prevent this disease.

There are cases of very high blood pressure, the first sign of which is a hypertensive crisis or cerebral ischemia. By the way, hypertension does not depend on age.

High blood pressure, that is, pressure equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg. Art. is hypertension.

“Accurately measure your blood pressure, control it and live longer” is the slogan for this year of PAHO, which promotes policies and projects that impact public health. (HEY)

Details to consider when monitoring blood pressure. Photo: Courtesy

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