Blood pressure might be a common problem faced by the major section of the society. So its not surprising when people don’t take it seriously as it ought to be treated. We do know that all of us love things that are unique and give importance to those stuff that are uncommon. Platinum is valued as it is a rare metal, white tiger is a treat to the eye as it is limited in number and people just wait for the Kuriji flower that blooms only once in 12 years. Likewise, we might value cancer and dementia more than blood pressure as they are rare occurrences compared to blood pressure. The irony is that, people know more information about these diseases than they know about BP.
In a recent survey conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA) researchers found that almost 80% adults who have high BP levels weren’t regularly checking it as instructed. All the more, almost half the Americans were unaware of what number is defined as high blood pressure. As per AHA recommendations it is advisable to check your blood pressure levels on a daily basis, especially at the same time of the day every day. There are also various do’s and don’ts while checking your BP levels such as refraining from sitting cross-legged, standing and taking your BP measurements and so on. For a curated list of these do’s and don’ts you can quickly log on to www.firsteatright.com.
A Yes or A No?
The AHA survey that covered more than 1000 people revealed that approximately 38% admitted that they were diagnosed with high blood pressure whereas 18% couldn’t remember whether they had been diagnosed with high BP levels ever. The guideline defining high BP levels have been changed from 140/90 mmHg to 130/80 mmHg since 2017. So, is this a shock to most of you reading this article too? Then, you need to update yourself immediately! The survey also revealed that 64% people couldn’t figure out the exact numbers that constitute elevated blood pressure levels.
The researchers questioned these participants on their knowledge, attitude, demographics and behavior relating to high blood pressure extrapolating it as the representation of the entire people of the nation. Among the 1000 participants that included both, those with and without high blood pressure, almost 55% participants who were at high-risk commented that they had no problems of being at an increased risk of heart attack. Among those who were confirmed with high blood pressure, 36% remained unbothered about suffering from a heart attack-this being one of the commonest diseases experienced by people worldwide. So, do you also belong to such a category of people who are ignorant about their BP levels and even after knowing it still remains unperturbed about its side effects?
Sufferings without Symptoms
Hypertension is also called as a ‘silent killer’ as many remain unaware of its presence until it causes greater health problems. Its lack of symptoms is the basis for many of us ignoring to get it checked regularly. The study found that 4 of every 10 people remained unaware of their last BP readings and they don’t even try to get it checked on a regular basis.
High BP levels might be predominantly seen in adults but it does prove to be advantageous when problems of high BP are taught during school days. This helps children correct their lifestyle choices and get into the habit of healthy eating too. Physicians too must recommend their patients with high BP to take up healthy lifestyle changes and motivate them to maintain normal BP levels.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.
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