In 3 South Africans At Risk As Result Of High Blood Pressure

Evarado Alatorre
May 17, 2018

Moreover, hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. After following 1,621 men aged 42 to 60 for an average of 22 years, the team found that those who frequented a sauna two to three times a week had a 24 percent lower risk of hypertension than those who went only once a week, and those who used a sauna four to seven times a week benefited from a 46 percent lower risk.

"Risk factors for hypertension are a family history of hypertension, diabetes or stroke; obesity; African ethnicity; sedentary lifestyle; diabetes; high BP in pregnancy; and a poor diet with excess alcohol, sugar and salt", says Rayner.

A study by Wits University scientists and peers revealed that South Africa also has the highest prevalence of hypertension in southern Africa, as well as the largest number of people whose blood pressure is still not controlled, even on treatment. "Giving up smoking reduces the risk of hypertension, heart conditions", added Dr Rahul. High blood pressure, if left untreated or uncontrolled, can cause many health problems such as heart failure, heart attack, vision loss, stroke, and kidney disease. "But the very good news is that medication, combined with a healthy lifestyle, can prevent complications". "For women, the picture was better with 54% being aware of their hypertension condition, and of those undergoing treatment, 51% had controlled blood pressure".

According to Dr Stuart Ali, project manager and researcher at the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience at Wits University: "For men, only 40 percent were aware of their hypertension condition".

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"What's really alarming is that nearly half of the people who were already being treated for hypertension still had blood pressure above recommended levels".

"No one is immune to hypertension - black or white, male or female, rich or poor, old or young, overweight or thin, fit or unfit - and it is essential that everyone has their BP screened regularly, especially if you have risk factors for hypertension", emphasised Rayner.

Researchers found 34.5 per cent of those studied worldwide had elevated blood pressure (above 140/90mmHg).

While the cost of medication and doctor consultation for high blood pressure comes roughly around Rs 8,000 per annum if detected early, the cost of cardiac surgeries or transplantations, when the issue is neglected, spikes up anywhere between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 20 lakh.

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