Medical Files

High BP, Philippine setting

/ 10:45 PM February 07, 2014


Emotional problems, especially depression, have been frequently reported as aggravating factors in hypertension. This should be a good incentive to stay married. But I figure that the age factor may also be a reason for this seemingly increased prevalent rate among separated and widowed individuals. They’re likely older than the still-married or single



The BP inevitably increases with age such that in the same survey of Dr. Jorge Sison, the prevalence rate of hypertension in seniors (those older than 65 years) was 55 percent, which is quite close to the prevalence rates in the widowed and separated groups.


If it’s any consolation, the awareness rate in Dr. Sison’s report is 79 percent, which means that eight out of 10 hypertensive patients know that they have elevated BP compared to a 50 percent awareness rate in the first few surveys conducted.

Dismal control rate

But although 75 percent of hypertensive Filipinos surveyed have consulted a physician on at least one occasion for their elevated BP, only 57 percent are complying with whatever instructions and prescriptions their respective physicians are giving them. This explains the dismal control rate of 27 percent, meaning only around one out of four hypertensive Filipinos have their BPs adequately controlled to optimally reduce their risk of developing all sorts of cardiovascular complications related to hypertension.

We can’t give ourselves a pat on the back if we look at the current statistics on hypertension treatment and control in our country. With all the energetic activities and programs the various medical organizations and government agencies are doing, it seems we’re like runners sprinting in the wrong direction. It’s about time we all sit down and go back to the drawing board and see how we can  best address this serious problem before it gets any worse.

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TAGS: Depression, health and wellness, high blood pressure, hypertension
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