Blood Pressure: Young Hearts at A Higher Risk for Hypertension

April 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Diet Articles

Blood Pressure: Young Hearts at A Higher Risk to Hypertension

 
High blood pressure accounts more than nine million deaths every year, including about half of all deaths due to heart disease and stroke, according to WHO. What is more shocking to hear is that- young people are at an equal risk of being a victim of high blood pressure when compared to older adults. The reason behind this depressing statistics is changing social norms on smoking and drinking and a fast food dominated lifestyle.  People as young as those in their 20s and 30s are being the victims of this life-threatening disease.

 

Dr. Monica Mahajan – Senior Consultant (Internal Medicine) at Max Hospital, says-“Earlier, it was usually people in their 40s and 50s who reported hypertension. These days, I have at least three or four patients every week in their 20s and 30s with the problem. There has been a 10 to 20 percent rise in such cases over the last few years. The incidence of coronary heart disease and heart attack among people in their 30s -something unheard of earlier – is also becoming frequent.”

 

According to the World Health Statistics 2012 Report, one in three adults worldwide suffer from hypertension, a condition that causes half the deaths by stroke and heart disease. Hypertension can lead to a host of illnesses, including damaged organs, kidney failure, aneurysm (blood-filled bulge in the wall of a blood vessel), stroke and heart attack. Dr. Mahajan says – “Changing social norms on drinking and smoking has definitely increased the risk of hypertension in youngsters. Regular drinking beyond a certain amount and even a small amount of tobacco could prove harmful. Also, diet plays a big role. Extra salt can increase blood pressure.”

 

Chandan Kedavat – Senior Consultant (Internal Medicine) at Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI) says – “With all the junk food and processed food, where salt is used as a preservative, our salt intake goes up to 15-18 grams a day, when it should ideally be five-six grams a day. Cutting down on excess salt intake can lower BP.”

 

“Stress is another cause of hypertension. In a program of 12-14 working hours, one has to find ways to de-stress, and exercise at some point of the day to reduce health risks,” physician Sunidhi Malhotra said. And if you are one of those who pop the pain killer for every small headache, beware! Doctors say that over-the-counter self medication can affect the kidneys in the long run – and in turn, make you hypertensive.

 

“Another thing to keep in mind is that it is not necessary that you will get headaches and have swollen feet if you are hypertensive. Many times, people find out about the condition only incidentally. It’s a silent killer. I would advise all youngsters, even in their 20s, to go for regular check-ups, especially if there is hypertension in the family,” Kedavat said.

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