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Hypertension is a growing concern

Oman marked World Hypertension day on May 17

Hypertension (HTN) is a matter of concern and has emerged as a major lifestyle disease globally. Known commonly as blood pressure, HTN is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, contributing to a number of life-threatening diseases, according to medics in Oman.

Speaking to the Observer on the occasion of World Hypertension Day, which falls on May 17, Dr Mahmood al Rahbi, Head of the Emergency Department at Al Nahda Hospital, said coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and kidney failure, as well as premature death and disability, have been identified to be resultants of HTN.

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Underlining the importance of HTN to be highlighted, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that 40 per cent of adults aged 25 years experienced HTN.

In Oman, the prevalence of HTN is estimated at 41.5 per cent. Among them, three-quarters (75.7 per cent) were unaware of being hypertensive, and 65.5 per cent had inadequately controlled hypertension.

"Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke, heart disease and chronic kidney disease," says Dr Mohammed Mirvaz, Specialist in Internal Medicine at Al Salama Hospital.

May 17 is observed as World Hypertension Day, and this year's theme is "Measure your blood pressure accurately and control it for a longer life".

A blood pressure reading of 140/90 or more is considered hypertension. As per reports, 20 per cent of people maintain reasonable BP control. Most of them do not experience any symptoms due to hypertension, and hence it is advised to get their BP checked at regular intervals.

Common symptoms of HTN include headache, dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain, nosebleed, and the like.

According to Dr Mirvaz, the modifiable risk factors are excessive salt intake, smoking, alcohol, stress and a sedentary lifestyle. Hence, it is advisable to look for target organ damage by running relevant tests once hypertension is diagnosed.

There are secondary causes for BP as well. It is also recommended to look for secondary causes of hypertension, especially heart and kidney disease, by doing a simple ECG and renal function test.

Management of HTN lies in diet modification and regular physical exercises. "A specialist doctor will prescribe anti-hypertensives according to the patient's characteristics, and one needs to take the medicines regularly and follow up in regular intervals to keep BP under control and lead a healthy life," adds Dr Mirvaz.


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