A consultant family physician at Lagos General Hospital, Ijede, Dr. Oluwaseun Ayodeji Jegede, has outlined some risk factors of hypertension as unhealthy diets – excessive salt consumption, a diet high in saturated fat and trans fats, low intake of fruits and vegetables, physical inactivity, consumption of tobacco and alcohol, as well as being overweight or obese among others.
Speaking at a sensitisation programme, Dr. Jegede explained that there are also non-modifiable risk factors like a family history of hypertension, age over 65 years and co-existing diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease.
He said “In most cases, hypertension has no symptoms, it is often referred to as the silent killer. There may be early morning headaches, bleeding from the nose, blurring of vision or visual disturbances, weakness and irregular heartbeats on a few occasions”.
While explaining that complications may arise from uncontrolled hypertension, Dr. Jegede maintained that a lack of proper management and control of the disease is enough to significantly reduce the quality of life of an individual.
He stated that diagnosis of hypertension is not a death sentence, advising that appropriate medications and modification of lifestyle activities are ways of improving a patient’s condition.
In the same vein, a member of the Service Delivery Unit (SDU) at the General Hospital, Ijede, Bola Adeyiolu, described hypertension or elevated blood pressure as a serious medical condition that significantly increases risks to the heart, brain, kidney and other organs of the body if not properly managed and controlled.
Adeyiolu, a nurse, spoke to traders and artisans at Sagidowo Sawmill, Itamaga, Ikorodu, and other visitors to the facility in commemoration of the Year 2022 World Hypertension Day.
She explained that hypertension is diagnosed when the blood pressure is consistently equal to or more than 140mmhg systolic and/or 90mmhg diastolic, noting that it is measured on two consecutive occasions on two different days.
Speaking further, Adeyiolu informed the artisans that research revealed that hypertension is the major cause of premature deaths worldwide, affirming that an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years have hypertension with most of them living in low- and middle-income countries.
“Almost 50 per cent of adults, who are hypertensive are unaware of the disease and do not undergo any form of treatment. It is important always to have your blood checked on a regular basis because only a healthy being can contribute his quota to the development of the society”.
She, however, appealed to participants at the enlightenment session to take their health seriously, engage in regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, and make regular visits to the hospital if they have been diagnosed with the disease.
Individuals diagnosed with high blood pressure at the venue were offered free BP checks and free drugs to treat their condition.