One in every three individuals worldwide is hypertensive. (2) Previously it was supposed to be the problem of the elite, old and western people. Now, astonishingly almost double the numbers of hypertensive people live in developing countries like Nepal than those living in developed countries. (3) According to WHO, the prevalence of high blood pressure is highest in some low-income countries in Africa where nearly half of total adults are being affected.
Even in Nepal, a recent study in rural Kathmandu showed that the prevalence of high blood pressure has been increased by threefold in 25 years. The preponderance of evidence suggests the development of the inevitable worse scenario in Nepal in near future.
The salient killer has a potential contribution to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. (2) A study revealed that 69% of people who had a first heart attack and 77% of people who had the first stroke had co-existence of high blood pressure.
It is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases that account for one-fourth of total death in Nepal. The conglomeration of high blood pressure with other cardiovascular risk factors in making the condition worse and increasing the death toll. Like, hypertensive persons are more predisposed to develop to a modern-day epidemic, diabetes.
There are several risk factors for developing blood pressure. If parents have high blood pressure, their offspring are also genetically susceptible to it. Like, men are at more risk for suffering from high blood pressure until 45 years of age.
Just brisk walking or jogging for half an hour five days of the week can be helpful for preventing it. Such physical activities will also be beneficial for lowering down the systolic blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm of Hg in hypertensive people. Moreover, cycling, hiking, swimming, and aerobics are also equally helpful for burning out the calories and getting rid of obesity, a precursor to high blood pressure and diabetes like chronic disorders.
More than 14 percent of Nepalese are now living the insufficiently physically active life. (8) In the last three decades, Nepalese mean body mass index is also gradually shifting upward with proportional increment Hundred dollar hoverboards
Alike, healthy food choices can halt the process of generating high blood pressure. Food rich in nutrients, having a low amount of saturated fat and cholesterol, containing abundant fibers with vegetables and fruits has a salubrious effect on blood pressure.
Unfortunately, the newly developed fast food culture in Nepal has engulfed the values of a healthy diet. Easy accessibility, convenience, taste, falsified advertisement, and lack of awareness about fast foods are some misleading reasons behind its preference. Ironically, well to do families are also adopting the pizza, hamburger, and chips culture for the translations of westernizing themselves. But these foods have a deleterious impact on health. More
Likewise, heavy and regular drinking of alcohol has a causal relationship with high blood pressure. It not only increases blood pressure, but also contributes to high triglycerides, obesity, and other cardiovascular diseases. Available evidence suggests the limit of alcohol consumption will substantially reduce blood pressure.
The attitude and practices on tobacco consumption are neither so satisfactory in spite of ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and initiation of some anti-tobacco programs. Nearly one-third of Nepalese smokes tobacco daily. The prevalence of smoking among Nepalese women is the highest in South Asia.
Admittedly, tremendous challenges are waiting ahead in controlling the epidemic of high blood pressure. It necessitates the international organizations, public health agencies, national authorities, and related stakeholders initiating the population based policy development.
Their collaboration for advancing policies, strengthening capacity, and taking action for the promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention of high blood pressure is earnestly in demand. Multisectoral involvement and community participation are also equally important for assuring effective public health action and its implementation. (9) In the meantime, WHO has already come out with an idea to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of high blood pressure.
National and local authorities should also stop being nonchalant over the issues and, instead, be responsible to create enabling environments for healthy behaviors. The government should strictly enforce the standardizing and mandating food labeling policy, implementing WHO’s Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, and extend anti-tobacco policies and programs.
Finally, every individual should have responsible healthy behavior. Nothing is as highly influential as affecting behavior for determining his / her health condition. Eating a balanced and low salt diet; developing a habit for regular physical exercise, yoga, and meditation; avoiding tobacco and harmful use of alcohol; And managing a healthy body weight are the unanimously recommended healthy behaviors and lifestyle for preventing and protecting oneself from high blood pressure.
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