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Hypertension is considered as the biggest single risk factor for deaths
worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO),
hypertension causes 7 million deaths every year while 1.5 billion people
suffer due to its complications.
Most of the time, hypertension has no symptoms, said Dr. Morales. This
makes the condition more dangerous. If remain untreated, the arteries
and other vital organs in the body will be damaged, he added.
Hypertension causes heart attack, stroke, heart failure, aneurysm or renal
In the Philippines, heart attack is the most common cause of death among
Filipinos. This may be attributed to continuous neglect on the danger of
hypertension and its complications, said Dr. Morales.
A study conducted by PSH found out that the prevalence of hypertension
in the country is increasing. In 2003, data showed that 16 percent or
approximately 7 million Filipino adults 20 years and above has
hypertension. The incidence increased to 10 million or 21 percent of
Filipino adults 20 years and above in 2008.
Based on the data, we are expecting the incidence to increase more in
the next survey in 2013, said Dr. Morales. He reminded the public to be
aware of the food they eat and encouraged them to have at least 30
minutes exercise a day to reduce the risk of hypertension. Because our
lifestyle has direct impact on our health, added Dr. Morales.
Living a healthy lifestyle plays an important role in treating hypertension.
If you were diagnosed with high blood pressure, avoid smoking, minimize
salt intake and alcohol consumption and a regular exercise are among the
key strategies which may avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication,
stressed Dr. Morales.


High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term
force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may
eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart
pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The
more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher
your blood pressure.
You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any
symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your
heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure
increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and
High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it affects
nearly everyone eventually. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily
detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work
with your doctor to control it.


Signs and Symptoms

If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for,

Severe headache.
Fatigue or confusion.
Vision problems.
Chest pain.
Difficulty breathing.
Irregular heartbeat.
Blood in the urine.
Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears.


Management and Diet

Lifestyle Changes to Treat High Blood Pressure

A critical step in preventing and treating high blood pressure is a healthy lifestyle. You can lower your
blood pressure with the following lifestyle changes:
Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
Quitting smoking
Eating a healthy diet, including the DASH diet (eating more fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products,
less saturated and total fat)
Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet to less than 1,500 milligrams a day if you have high blood
pressure; healthy adults should try to limit their sodium intake to no more 2,300 milligrams a day (about 1
teaspoon of salt).
Getting regular aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day, several days a week)
Limiting alcohol to two drinks a day for men, one drink a day for women
In addition to lowering blood pressure, these measures enhance the effectiveness of high blood pressure

V. Pathophysiology