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World hypertension day: Know your numbers

By: Jocelyn R. Uy, May 18th, 2013 07:21 AM

MANILA, Philippines—Know your numbers. Skip processed foods and think positive.

The World Health Organization (WHO) dispensed these tips through several posters released on Friday to mark World Hypertension Day, warning that deaths due to heart-related diseases will continue to rise if no appropriate action will be taken.

Currently, hypertension or high blood pressure is responsible for at least 45 percent of deaths across the globe due to heart disease and 51 percent due to stroke.

According to Dr. Margaret Chan, hypertension already affects one billion people worldwide. Citing studies, she also said that raised blood pressure kills nine million people every year.

Hypertension is diagnosed when the blood pressure is consistently equal or higher than 140/90 mmHG.

In the Philippines, about one of four Filipino adults suffers from the “silent killer,” due to increased intake of high sodium food and other processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle.

To fight the illness, which is the biggest risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular and kidney ailments, the WHO urged the public to take precautionary measures such as checking their blood pressure regularly and taking the prescribed medicines faithfully to prevent complications.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can also cause blindness, irregularities of the heartbeat and heart failure, said the WHO.

“High blood pressure is a ‘silent killer,’ it often has no warning signs or symptoms,” warned the health organization.

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