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Non-Communicable Disease Series: Hypertension

By Edited Apr 14, 2016 0 0

Hypertension Monitoring
Credit: http://www.blog-ph.com/2011/01/hypertension-in-philippines.html

According to World Health Organization's 2011 conference about non-communicable diseases, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus and Cancer are going to be the world's future killers. This holds true for both developed and non-developed countries. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, Black, White, Asian or European, no one is spared. The reason for such a bold statement is because of an inability of people to control the risk factors for the diseases. Risk factors can be: inherently within us (like our DNA), can be from external sources (like second hand smoke) or may be from a behavior that shouldn’t or should be done (like avoiding drinking or performing exercise). 

Here are a few tips about hypertension regarding the risk factors that should be avoided in order to remain healthy and cardiovascular disease free.

Hypertension

Hypertension is defined by the 7th Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure as having a blood pressure reading on two separate occasions of greater than 139 systolic blood pressure (SBP) and 89 diastolic blood pressure (DBP). These are further classified according to the values obtained but shall not be discussed. Suffice it to say that whether or not you currently have hypertension, we all are at risk of developing this disease. 

The committee has defined the basic risk factors for developing hypertension as:

Cigarette smoking, Obesity (waistline greater than 30 for females and greater than 36 for males), Physical inactivity, an abnormal amount of fats in the blood stream (low HDL, high LDL and triglycerides), fasting blood sugar reading of greater than 126, Protein in the urine, Age of greater than 55 for men and 65 for women and a family history of heart or blood vessel disease of men less than 55 and women less than 65.

Exercise(71275)
Credit: www.knoltoday.com

Most of these risks can be reduced by:

Eating a complete and proportioned meal – a good measure is to have a carbohydrate (rice, potato) serving size as large as your palm, protein (meat or fish) serving size as large as your palm and vegetables serving size as large as your fist. 

Regular moderate to high intensity exercise 30 to 40 minutes 3 or more times in a week or exercising up to the capacity of what your body can handle and gradually increasing in time and intensity until a 30-40 minute moderate to high intensity exercise is accomplished.

A practical way of estimating exercise intensity is:

  • Low Intensity - Talks freely and without being winded while exercising
  • Moderate Intensity – Talks sparingly and takes time in between breaths before speaking
  • High Intensity – Unable to talk while exercising 

Continuous monitoring of blood pressure in order to prompt early treatment by a physician – once you see your blood pressure consistently within the range of 121-139 SBP / 81-90 DBP, consult a physician for prehypertension in order to receive an early evaluation.

To be able to halt the continuing increase in Hypertensives worldwide, we must be able to 1) continuously monitor blood pressure for early detection of the disease, 2) throw away our sedentary lives for exercise and 3) eat a balanced meal with the proper proportions (fist-palm method). By trying to prevent this disease today, we can help ensure healthy aging for us and our loved ones for years to come.

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