• Monday, Oct 26, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

High blood pressure: An unscheduled fatal invasion to life

  • Published at 10:40 pm October 15th, 2020
Blood pressure
Photo: Courtesy

Coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world. Everyday, people of different age groups are being affected by coronavirus and few are dying too. COVID-19 is a cause of concern for everyone, particularly for those with hypertension, heart disease and other long-term ailments.

High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the major public health problems, considering the symptoms and risk of various diseases in the body. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, is responsible for the deaths of approximately 17.9 million people worldwide each year which is close to one-third of the number of deaths due to various diseases. 

It is a major risk factor for cerebrovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and cardiac and renal failure. Treating raised blood pressure has been associated with a 35% to 40% reduction in the risk of stroke and 20% to 25% reduction in the risk of myocardial infarction. Several trials in patients at high cardiovascular risk have confirmed these observational data, showing reductions in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in people whose blood pressure is reduced to levels significantly below 160 mmHg systolic and 90 mmHg diastolic. These trials support the view that, in patients at high cardiovascular risk, with blood pressures in the range 140–160 mmHg (systolic) and 90–100 mmHg (diastolic), lowering blood pressure reduces the number of cardiovascular events. These trial results suggest that treatment for such high-risk patients should begin at the lower blood pressure thresholds.

Some information on blood pressure:

•    Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps through a person's body and the amount of obstruction in blood flow to the arteries. The more blood the heart pumps, the narrower the arteries become. As a result, hypertension occurs.

•    Blood pressure is not always the same. It changes due to excitement and stress and quickly becomes normal. Its amount is less during sleep, and its amount increases when you wake up. 

•    High blood pressure is called the silent killer because no signs or symptoms are seen in the body of the person.

•    High blood pressure increases health risks.

Diagnosis and symptoms of high blood pressure

When a person's blood pressure is always higher than normal, it is assumed that he is suffering from hypertension.If someone's blood pressure is 140/90 mm in both arms, or on top of it, then it can be said that he has high blood pressure. Most people do not know that they are suffering from high blood pressure because they do not have any signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. Initially, hypertension will cause headaches and depression. Symptoms appear when high blood pressure reaches an acute level.

As explained earlier, hypertension is a risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease which can manifest as heart failure or heart attack if its symptoms are not identified timely. In which case Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) or Angioplasty is performed. An angioplasty is an effective and non-invasive treatment option to treat blocked arteries. Specialized, new-generation drug-eluting stents are now available which can navigate through tortuous and narrowed arterial segment effectively and are indicated for use in patients with diabetes or high bleeding risk by USFDA.

What to do in case of high blood pressure?

•    Eat healthy food with less salt and fat

•    Body weight must be controlled

•    Alcohol should be avoided

•    Exercise regularly

•    Quit smoking 

•    Stress and anger must be controlled

•    Blood pressure should be checked regularly

Disclaimer: “Any and all the Information provided in the article are independent views expressed by Prof Amal Kumar Choudhury, Professor of Cardiology, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) for general overview and educational purposes only.”

Prof Amal Kumar Choudhury is a professor of Cardiology at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD).

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