Hypertension may turn into epidemic

KATHMANDU: World Hypertension Day will be marked throughout the globe on Sunday with the slogan “Salt and High Blood Pressure: Two Silent Killers”. The Day is marked on May 17 every year in order to spread awareness about the disease.

Dr Bharat Rawat, executive director and senior consultant cardiologist at Norvic International Hospital, informed that high blood pressure was the biggest single cause of death worldwide through strokes, heart attacks, paralysis and kidney diseases. Hypertension is known as a silent killer as it do not has its own symptom but is the main cause of most of the diseases. “In Nepal 20-25 per cent of adults suffer from high blood pressure but people are unaware of it,” shared Rawat. He also advised adults to check their blood pressure once every three months.

Dr Mrigendra Raj Pandey, president of Nepal Hypertension Society, said, “If salt intake

was reduced by half it would approximately prevent 2.5 million deaths caused due to hypertension,” adding that a person need only consume five grams of salt per day. He advised people to minimise consumption of fast food items.

Urging the government to introduce awareness campaigns, he informed that while only ten

per cent of the blood pressure patients knew that they were victims of high blood pressure, only two per cent took medicine for its control.

According to World Health Organisation, by 2025 hypertension could take the form of an epidemic. Regular physical exercise for 30-40 minutes every day is advised to keep the scourge of high blood pressure at bay. The normal blood pressure of a healthy person should be 120/80 mmHg.