Changing lifestyles and increase in work-related stress has caused 45 per cent of the citys current population to suffer from high blood pressure,a study conducted by PGIMER has concluded. It also warned that high blood pressure was directly responsible for 57 per cent of all stroke and 24 per cent of all coronary heart disease deaths across the country.
According to the PGIMER study,the number of hypertension cases has doubled in Chandigarh over the last 30 years. It blames the rise on sedentary life style,lack of physical activity,high fat intake,obesity,alcohol consumption,unhealthy diet,smoking and increasing work pressure.
Terming it as a silent killer,Dr Sanjay Jain,a professor at PGIMERs Department of Internal Medicine,PGIMER,said: We should keep tabs on our blood pressure as high blood pressure if it goes unchecked can damage the heart,kidneys,brain and blood vessels. It is commonly associated with heart attack,irregular rhythm of the heart,and heart failure. In the brain,it can produce stroke or paralysis and it also contributes to kidney failure and aneurysm (bulge or ballooning in the wall of an artery).
He added that essentially the disease is asymptomatic,but in some patients it may produce headache,breathlessness and light dizziness. Hypertension is a silent killer. The only way to detect it is to get it measured. All adults above 20 years should get their blood pressure checked and must remember their numbers,because each rise of 20/10 will double the risk. A record kept for a period of time will reveal if pressure is rising, he said.
Women,who have high blood pressure during pregnancy,should always be on a doctors follow up for the development of hypertension in later life. Young children too can have high blood pressure.
Stressing on the preventions,the doctor said life style change is the most important step in preventing hypertension. It is recommended to exercise at least 30 minutes a day,on 5 or more days of the week,as exercise burns calories,controls blood sugar levels in people with diabetes,lowers blood pressure,especially in people with high blood pressure,lowers stress and the chance of dying from heart disease, Dr Jain added.
One should take less than 5 grams of salt a day ( normally we take three-four times more than that),five servings of fruits and vegetables a day,exercise (brisk walk,swimming) with yoga for at least 30 minutes daily. One should quit smoking,alcohol should be strictly avoided,physical and mental stress should be taken away,low saturated fats and one should keep their weight under check,the doctor advised.