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Medical Experts Warn Nigerians On Dangers Of Hypertension

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By Steve Oni, Ilorin

To reduce the negative consequences of hypertension, the Nigerian
Hypertension Society has admonished Nigerians to check their blood pressure regularly.

In a statement on Friday in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, to herald the World Hypertension Day (WHD), coming up on Saturday, 17th October, 2020, the President and Secretary General of the World Hypertension Day Association, Prof. A.B.O. Omotosho and Prof. K. W. Wahab respectively, said those with hypertension should make it a duty to always consult their medical practitioners for proper medical advice.

The statement said: “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.

“It is important to avoid excessive salt consumption as this is strongly linked to development of hypertension and/or poor control of same.

“It is also pertinent for people to take healthy diets with daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, while also engaging in physical exercises for a minimum duration of 30 minutes
on a daily basis or on at least three non-consecutive days per week.

“It is equally important to reduce your weight if you are overweight or obese and also avoid unhealthy lifestyles like smoking and alcohol consumption.”

The expanded theme of this year’s celebration is: “Measure Your Blood
Pressure, Control It, Live Longer”. This expanded theme is a further call
to the need to increase awareness, detection and treatment of
hypertension with the ultimate aim of encouraging citizens of all countries to
take positive health action to prevent and control this silent killer, a non-communicable epidemic, adding that this is more imperative in view
of the negative effects of “co-morbidity of hypertension on outcome in
individuals who contract COVID-19 infection.”

Hypertension, the statement added, describes a situation in which there is sustained elevation of blood pressure above a “threshold of 140 mmHg systolic and 90 mmHg diastolic in an adult, lamenting that the proportion of Nigerians with hypertension is high, while awareness, treatment, and control rates are low despite the availability of potent drugs.”

It added that hypertension only announces its presence in most people after development of complications like stroke, heart failure, heart attack or kidney failure, saying the social and economic toll of the complications of hypertension on immediate families and the nation at large is enormous.

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