The Nigerian Hypertension Society has emphasised the need for regular medical check-up as part of measures to reduce the risk of complications from hypertension.
This is contained in a statement issued in Ilorin on Tuesday and co-signed by the society’s President, Prof. Ayodele Omotoso, and the Secretary General, Prof. Kolawole Wahab, to commemorate 2023 World Hypertension Day (WHD).
The group cautioned against excessive intake of salt to minimise complications that could threaten life spans.
According to the statement, hypertension, also known as High Blood Pressure (HBP), is a condition in which there is sustained elevation of blood pressure above a threshold of 140 mmHg systolic and 90 mmHg diastolic in an adult.
The WHD is celebrated every May 17 to increase global awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control the disease.
According to the statement, the theme for the 2023 WHD ”Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”, is targeted at increasing awareness and ensuring accurate blood pressure.
The statement said it is targeted at detecting and controlling hypertension in order to prevent premature death.
“The proportion of Nigerians with hypertension is high, while awareness, treatment and control rates are low in spite of the availability of potent drugs.
“About one third adult Nigerians are living with hypertension, with only half of them aware of their status.
“Less than 20 per cent of those with hypertension who are on medications have their blood pressure controlled.
“Unfortunately, hypertension only announces its presence in most people after development of complications like stroke, heart failure, heart attack or kidney failure,” it observed.
The statement describes hypertension as the number one cause of preventable death worldwide, as its complications also affect the social and economic life of the people.
On reducing the negative consequences of HBP, the society advised those with hypertension to consult their medical practitioners for proper advice and management.
“If you are hypertensive, please take your medications regularly to achieve a good blood pressure control and thus prevent complications like stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure, which can shorten lifespan.
“You must also avoid excessive salt consumption as this is strongly linked to development of hypertension or poor control of the same,” the statement added.
The society however encouraged people to engage in physical exercises, monitor weight gain, eat healthy diets and avoid unhealthy lifestyles like smoking and alcohol consumption. (NAN)