High blood pressure has been referred to as a ‘silent killer’ disease because it shows no signs and symptoms and can easily be unidentifiable for a couple of years, which may cause damage to one’s body.
Speaking to KNA Dr. James Kibugi a Medical Doctor in private practice in Kiambu County said that the number of men with hypertension is more than that of women.
He attributed this to men who mostly who fail to go for regular check-ups, and indulge in irresponsible consumption of alcohol.
“In this day and time people are stressed out due to the tough economic times and you find that those people who already have hypertension are struggling due to stress”, he explained.
Dr. Kibugi added that it could be easy to control hypertension if the necessary precautions are taken.
“People with high blood pressure should keenly follow the instructions given by the doctors, that is take medication as advised, have regular blood pressure checkup, have a healthy diet in order to avoid uncontrollable blood pressure”, he said .
He advised people to eat healthy foods and especially those that are rich in magnesium like leafy vegetables and fruits, avoid processed food as much as possible as they tend to affect ones weight and cause obesity.
According to Dr Kibugi uncontrolled high blood pressure above the rate of 180/120 can result to stroke and even cause death.
“We are really advising people to go for hypertension screening as early as possible, especially men. Women are more open to go for screening and treatment for hypertension than men. People should visit health facilities to get checked,” he emphasized.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) High blood pressure is one of the most common reasons for premature death across the world, and is a serious condition that increases the risk of heart, brain and other diseases if left untreated.
In Kenya 24.5 percent of adults have elevated high blood pressure. Lack of awareness is one of the major challenges that is hindering the control rates in the country.
According to the Kenya Medical Research Institute a majority of Kenyans cannot be able to access screening for hypertension, especially in rural areas across the country.
Globally about 1.28 billion adults of between ages 30 -79 have hypertension especially those living in low and middle-income countries.
It is advisable that people reduce their salt intake, reduce alcohol consumption, avoid smoking and go for regular Hypertension checkup.
By Evalyne Kamau