Hypertension is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In particular, it quadruples the risk of stroke and doubles the risk of heart attack, which are the two leading causes of death. This risk increases the higher the blood pressure. Other diseases that can be caused if left untreated are heart failure, aortic aneurysm, kidney failure, dementia, atrial fibrillation.
This is a very common condition, as 30% of people have hypertension, while its frequency increases with age.
Hypertension has also been called the “silent killer” because it has no symptoms. Thus, the only way to make a diagnosis is to measure blood pressure with the right technique.
Iraklis Avramopoulos, Pathologist and Director of the 5th Pathological Clinic of HYGEIA in Athens, emphasizes:
Today we have at our disposal a variety of antihypertensive drugs. Thus, with the right combination or monotherapy we can regulate hypertension effectively and without side effects. However, only half of those with hypertension know it, half of them receive antihypertensive treatment and only half of those receiving treatment are regulated.
Equally important with drugs is non-drug treatment, ie some changes in our daily habits, which reduce blood pressure, prevent the onset of hypertension, but also enhance the action of antihypertensive drugs.
The reduction in salt intake is significant and appears to reduce systolic blood pressure by approximately 5 mmHg. This reduction in blood pressure, although seemingly small, results in a 14% reduction in deaths from stroke and a 9% reduction in deaths from heart disease. To reduce sodium intake, it is recommended to limit the addition of salt during cooking, to remove the salt shaker from the dining table, but also to limit foods with “hidden” salt, such as bread, processed meat, cheese, margarine, processed cereals. It is helpful to read the labels of the foods we buy and to prefer those with a low salt content.
In terms of diet, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, legumes, poultry, fish and nuts should be preferred and sweets, sugary drinks and red meat should be avoided. This diet is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber and low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol. Achieves a reduction in systolic pressure by approximately 6 mmHg. The Mediterranean diet has been the subject of research in recent years and seems to reduce cardiovascular risk. Its composition is similar to that mentioned above, with the only significant difference being the addition of olive oil.
Reducing body weight in overweight and obese people is very important. For every 10 pounds of weight loss, your blood pressure drops by about 10 mmHg. diastolic pressure. Aerobic exercise (eg brisk walking) for at least 30 minutes most days of the week is recommended for all people with high blood pressure.
Excessive alcohol consumption raises blood pressure. Alcohol intake should be limited to 20-30 grams (2 drinks) per day in men and 10-20 grams (1 drink) in women.
Finally, all people with hypertension should It is emphasized that smoking cessation significantly reduces cardiovascular risk.
Source? First Issue