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Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading cause of death. It affects approximately 1.5 billion people world wide ...
and even more startling, about 40 per cent of people suffering from it don't even know they have it.
Tags:Learn about hypertension,blood pressure,high blood pressure,hypertension,illness,medical conditions
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Martin Vanderwoude: Many Canadians don't even know this silent killer is stalking them. They go about their lives unaware there is a time bomb within, and they can't even hear it ticking.
These two physicians are part of a major effort to change that. Dr. Norman Campbell is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He is also President of Blood Pressure Canada, and Dr. Charlotte Jones is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology. Both specialize in treating hypertension.
Dr. Norman Campbell: Most Canadians will develop hypertension during their lives. Currently about one in four adult Canadian has high blood pressure. By age 65, one in two Canadians will have hypertension. But perhaps most interestingly, 9 in 10 Canadians will develop hypertension during an average lifespan.
The World Health Organization believes that high blood pressure is the leading risk for death. This is because it causes most of strokes, is a strong factor for congestive heart failure, and contributes to heart attack and kidney disease.
Emerging data also suggests that high blood pressure is one of the major factors in dementia. We know that most of hypertension or high blood pressure is caused by our lifestyles. This includes not getting enough physical activity, eating a diet that's unhealthy, gaining extra weight or being overweight, in some people drinking too much alcohol, and in general too much salt or sodium in our diet or in food.
Dr. Charlotte Jones: People don't always know they have hypertension. In fact, about 40% of people with high blood pressure don't even know they have it, and thus the name the silent killer.
The best way to determine whether you have high blood pressure or not is to have your blood pressure monitored and carefully measured at a physician's office or other health care provider's office.
Hypertension can be prevented by healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes a diet replete with foods, vegetables, fiber, low salt, and plenty of exercise, at least five times a week, in addition to nonsmoking and a healthy level of alcohol consumption.
Martin Vanderwoude: There is a huge effort underway to get this message out. Dr. Arun Chockalingam is Secretary General of the World Hypertension League. Its a federation of societies and agencies promoting detection and treatment.
Arun Chockalingam: Nearly 1.5 billion people around the world are affected by hypertension. In Canada, we estimate about 5 million people are suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension. To detect and treat hypertension, the Canadians should first get their blood pressures checked. Being aware is a key thing. Once you are aware, at least you can manage your blood pressure.
Once identified that you have high blood pressure, you should work with your healthcare professionals to reduce your blood pressure through life cell modification. If that doesn't work, then you need to work with your doctors to get appropriate medications and state course on that.
Martin Vanderwoude: Medications a doctor might prescribe for hypertension could include a diuretic, an ACE inhibitor, an ARB, and available soon in Canada, a new medication called a Direct Renin Inhibitor.
For more information on hypertension and how to prevent it, consult your doctor and visit www.hypertension.ca or www.worldhypertensionleague.org. Martin Vanderwoude reporting.