Posted On Feb 22, 2023
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With the surging population of geriatric people, rising adoption of sedentary lifestyles, increasing working hours and soaring consumption of fast foods, the prevalence of hypertension is growing sharply across the globe. The World Population Ageing 2020 report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicts that the population of people aged 65 years or above will surge from 727 million in 2020 to nearly 1.5 billion by 2050.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that hypertension affects around 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years globally and two-thirds of the population residing in low- and middle-income countries. Furthermore, the organization has revealed that hypertension is a major cause of premature death globally. Hypertension or high blood pressure, as it is popularly called, is a condition in which the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the blood vessels becomes too high.
As per the latest NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines in England, hypertension is diagnosed when the systolic blood pressure (SBP) of a young adult is greater than 140mmHg and the diastolic blood pressure (DBP) is less than 80mmHg. If not managed properly, hypertension can cause health disorders including cardiac ailments like heart failure. This is ascribed to the fact that chronic high blood pressure puts too much strain on the heart and makes it more difficult for it to pump blood.
Moreover, chronic hypertension can make the heart muscles and the walls of the heart thick and weak, thus augmenting the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Moreover, recent research by general medicine specialist in Vijayawada has found that chronic hypertension makes women three times more likely and men twice as likely to get heart failure. People who have hypertensive heart disease with heart failure are at a higher risk for acute coronary syndrome, decompensated heart failure and sudden cardiac death.
The risk of hypertensive heart disease surges sharply in people who:
Have a sedentary lifestyle or don’t exercise regularly.
Eat foods high in cholesterol and fat.
In addition, the risk of heart disease rises considerably if it runs in the family. Studies have found that cardiac ailments are more likely to affect men than women who have not gone through menopause. Moreover, post-menopausal women and men are equally vulnerable to cardiac diseases. The risk of these ailments generally increases with age, regardless of the person’s sex.
High blood pressure (or hypertension) usually doesn’t cause any symptoms and it is thus, also called a ‘silent killer’. Owing to this reason, the symptoms of hypertension-induced cardiac ailments generally show up after the heart has already been damaged severely. Some of the commonly observed late-stage symptoms of hypertensive heart disease are:
Shortness of breath.
Sudden cardiac death.
Besides, nosebleeds, headaches, vision changes, buzzing in the ears and irregular heart rhythms are also observed commonly. Undiagnosed hypertensive heart diseases are usually associated with nausea, fatigue, vomiting, anxiety, confusion, muscle tremors and chest pain.
As the symptoms of this disorder can be easily confused for other diseases, it is necessary to get blood pressure checked at regular intervals to detect the condition.
Prevention is the initial measure in hypertensive heart disease treatment. It can be prevented by making a few lifestyle changes, such as:
Consuming fruits and vegetables.
Getting enough sleep.
Reducing the intake of salt.
Avoiding the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
Reducing/eliminating trans fats in diet.
Limiting the consumption of foods high in saturated fats.
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