Dangers of hypertension
Published on October 25, 2015
The most alerting aspect of hypertension (also known as high blood pressure), is that you may not know that you have it, one third of people with hypertension are unaware of their condition.
UAE cardiologists warn that one in every three adults in the country is affected by hypertension. The people most prone to have hypertension are the ones who undergo high amounts of stress; top officials, CEO’s, entrepreneurs and businessmen. In global context, hypertension affects around 1 billion people around the world, and this number is projected to rise to 1.56 billion over the next ten years.
What exactly is hypertension?
In basic terms it is the force with which the blood pushes against the walls of arteries as it flows through your body. The normal blood pressure is around 120mmHg on 80mmHg, slightly higher or lower depending on the person. However, if the blood pressure stays high consistently that might be a case of hypertension.
Dr. Shehab, Chairman of the Arab board cardiology fellowship training and examination Committee in Arab countries, Associate Professor of Medicine at the UAE University and Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Al Ain and Al Noor Hospitals explains “It is a chronic medical condition which is usually defined as having a blood pressure of 140 mmHg or greater — systolic and/or 90 mmHg or greater — diastolic.” The condition is the most common cardiovascular disease, which any adult can develop, however the risk of developing the disease increases with age. Older people are more affected.
The biggest risk is being unaware of the disease as it can go undetected for years as there are no obvious symptoms. At the same time it can be very damaging causing kidney failure, eyesight damage and more severe problems.
“Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke and a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide,” said Dr Shehab.
Dr. Salem, Consultant Interventional Cardiology and Endovascular Medicine in American Hospital Dubai, says that majority of hypertension cases in the UAE are due to lifestyle and not genetics. If there is someone with hypertension in the family, it might pass on however, most of the time that’s not the case.
“Obesity, lack of exercise, aging, mental stress are all causes of hypertension. The majority of the causes are stress related, however, we can’t ignore the other factors,” he said.
What to do
High blood pressure is not a threat if the person is aware of their condition — it can easily be controlled by taking the right medication.
“People with hypertension should see their doctor every six months even if they think that there is no urgency as by doing so they are protecting themselves. This is more critical if they suffer from obesity, stress or family history of the disease,” advised Dr.Shehab.