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Today is World Hypertension Day Life and Kingsbury Hospital is encouraging you to get tested and know your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose numbers in order to prevent and control rising blood pressure.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a very common but often goes undiagnosed. If left undetected, your blood vessels and heart may undergo substantial damage resulting in congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and vision loss.

“Hypertension is often considered the silent killer because there are no symptoms until it’s too late. We encourage patients to get checked regularly to ensure early detection. High blood pressure left unchecked can impact your quality of life and result in serious health risks,” Life Kingsbury Hospital Specialist Physician, Dr Laila Suleman said.

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

With 6.3 million people living with high blood pressure, South Africa has one of the highest rates of hypertension worldwide. Statistics show that about 130 heart attacks and 240 strokes occur daily in South Africa. This means that 10 people will suffer a stroke and five people will have a heart attack every hour.

Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.

“Prevention and early detection is best to better manage and control your blood pressure. A quick blood pressure test can help you identify possible problems, so we encourage people to get tested annually,” Suleman added.

Depending on your results, your doctor may prescribe medication to help control your blood pressure. It’s important to note that you will have to keep taking this medication. Along with medication, there are lifestyle changes that can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of health complications.

How to prevent Hypertension

Preventative measures to ensure rising blood pressure is controlled or prevented include:

Eat a well-balanced, low-salt diet.

Limit alcohol and quit smoking.

Enjoy regular physical activity.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Visit a healthcare provider to reassess your blood pressure status every year

Know your numbers:

If your blood pressure is below 120/80 (meaning less than 120 mmHg of systolic blood pressure and less than 80 mmHg of diastolic blood pressure) then you have a normal healthy blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is less than 140/90 but above 120/80 you are at a risk of becoming hypertensive.

If your blood pressure is above 140/90 you need to see a heath care provider to see if you have hypertension and need treatments to help to avoid heart disease and stroke.

Life Healthcare offers quality services for people who suffer from high blood pressure and fortunately with hypertension once you know your numbers, your healthcare provider can help you control it.