30 May, 2016, 12:00 am
EARLIER this month, the World Hypertension League declared May 17 to be World Hypertension Day, with the aim to promote public awareness on hypertension and encourage global citizens to prevent and control this silent killer.
The theme for this year was Know Your Numbers, with the focus on increasing high blood pressure awareness in all countries and communities.
Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services Annual Report 2014 listed hypertension as the third-most common cardiovascular disease, after congestive heart failure and heart attack.
Medical officer Dr Rajeshwar Sharma said genetic factors could also contribute to the disease.
“This means that if someone has genes that make him or her more likely to have hypertension, their lifestyle of being overweight, not doing enough physical activity, ingesting too much salt, smoking and not controlling stress will lead to hypertension,” Dr Sharma said.
“Thus people who have family history of hypertension need to be more careful about their lifestyle and need more frequent screening.
“Hypertension can lead to damage of the blood vessels and as blood vessels are in all parts of the body, damage from hypertension can affect any part of the body.”r Sharma said people should take advantage of the health services provided and regularly check their blood pressure levels.