Several million people do not know that they have hypertension. It is a silent killer – you can simply not feel the symptoms of this disease. The only way to detect it is by taking regular pressure measurements. You can do the test for free in many health care facilities and pharmacies.
It is worth making such measurements, because untreated hypertension leads, among others for strokes and heart attacks. The detection of hypertension can also reveal other diseases, if it is secondary, e.g. to such basic health problems as kidney disease or hormonal disorders.
Blood pressure measurement is a simple, easily accessible and painless test.
- 40% of people in our earth do not know that they have high blood pressure. Meanwhile, people are living for many years with hidden, and therefore untreated hypertension, are unfortunately exposed to many serious consequences and health damage. The most dangerous complication of hypertension is stroke – by a member of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH).
Hypertension – symptoms
Unfortunately, the symptoms of hypertension occur only in some patients (many do not have any). They include, among others:
- headaches and dizziness
- hot flushes,
- facial flushing
It can be said that hypertension is a silent killer, because it does not hurt and does not give any characteristic symptoms for a long time, but it leads to damage to many important organs in the human body. Fortunately, this disease can be caught by simple pressure measurement – says Dr. Mirosław Mastej.
The border between good and bad pressure
We speak of hypertension when the mean blood pressure values obtained in at least two separate measurements are equal to or exceed 140/90 mmHg (140 mmHg for systolic pressure, 90 mmHg for diastolic pressure).
Unfortunately, many people, especially men, do not undergo regular check-ups or even avoid visits to doctors – for various reasons, including lack of time, lack of access to a specialist, ignorance or fear. It is for those who do not care about their health or are just very busy people, there are organized campaigns offering free screening tests and awareness campaigns .
As part of this global campaign, organized by the International Society of Hypertension with partners, millions of people in over 100 countries around the world, will be able to take advantage of free blood pressure measurements. They will be carried out by volunteers in thousands of special pressure measurement points, located e.g. in pharmacies, medical facilities or shops.
Campaign organizers aim primarily to examine as many people as possible whose blood pressure has not been measured over the past year because according to expert recommendations, preventive pressure measurements should be made at least once a year. But all interested persons can take advantage of the free examination if possible.
Who is at high risk?
Experts say that among the people most at risk of hypertension are:
- Men over 55 years old
- Women over 65 years old
- People who smoke cigarettes
- People with abnormal blood cholesterol
- People with high blood glucose (diabetes)
- People with chronic kidney disease
- Obese people
- People who have a family history of cardiovascular disease.
Hypertension: what to do?
The most important thing is: strictly follow medical prescriptions and therefore do not stop taking medication on your own,
make changes to your lifestyle, starting with reducing salt and fat in your diet.
Salt: no more than a flat spoon per day
- A healthy lifestyle, when you do not suffer from hypertension, reduces the risk of getting sick, and if it happens – it will ease its course.
- We have a real impact on the causes of high blood pressure. Overweight, obesity, lipid disorders, excessive consumption of table salt and alcohol or lack of regular physical activity are factors that contribute to the development of hypertension – emphasizes prof. Maciej Banach from the Medical University of Lodz.
Experts emphasize, however, that exercise in the case of people with hypertension should be selected individually, in cooperation with a doctor or physiotherapist, so that it does not cause more harm than good.
When do you need to go to a hospital with hypertension?
If the measured value is around 220 / 120-140 mmHg, take medication and go to the hospital as soon as possible. It is also worth contacting the ambulance dispatcher for guidance on what to do.
New guidelines from the USA: redefinition of hypertension
Finally, it is worth mentioning that in the USA, expert guidelines (including the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology) regarding the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension have recently changed. The most important novelty is the change of the hypertension diagnosis threshold from 140/90 mmHg to 130/80.
This change, for various reasons, however, aroused strong controversy in the scientific world, so that in Europe the definition of hypertension (limit value) has not changed yet.