High blood pressure ‘silent killer’
Doha, December 13, 2012
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer and it poses among the greatest health risks because most people remain unaware that they have this condition until it is too late, said an expert.
Dr Mark Pecker, an international expert on hypertension, was speaking recently at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s monthly Medicine and U community health forum.
Uncomplicated high blood pressure often causes no symptoms for many years, even decades, until it finally damages certain critical organs, Dr Pecker said.
In a health talk at the Education City campus, titled Hypertension and You, Dr Pecker called for greater public awareness and urged regular screening for hypertension, especially for pregnant women and the obese. Poorly controlled high blood pressure ultimately can cause damage to blood vessels in the eye, thickening of the heart muscle and heart attacks, hardening of the arteries, kidney failure, and strokes all with severe consequences.
High salt intake, obesity, lack of regular exercise, excessive alcohol or coffee intake, and smoking may all adversely affect the outlook for the health of someone with high blood pressure. Some people with uncomplicated hypertension, however, may experience symptoms such as headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, and blurred vision usually with blood pressure that is very high.
Increased physical activity or a regulated exercise program as well as dietary changes and compliance with medication regimes are important factors in determining the outcome for people with hypertension.
Dr Pecker is attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and professor of clinical medicine in physiology and biophysics at WCMC-NY. – TradeArabia News Service