Why uncontrolled hypertension may be a significant health threat?

New Delhi: The longer blood pressure (BP) remains uncontrolled, the greater the damage it can cause, such as heart attack or stroke, heart failure, and kidney problems, said experts on Wednesday, ahead of World Hypertension Day.

World Hypertension Day is observed every year on May 17. This year’s theme is “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.”

Resistant hypertension is high BP that does not respond well to aggressive medical treatment. About 20 per cent of patients with high BP or hypertension are resistant.

Dr Devi Shetty, Founder and Chairman of Narayana Health, told IANS that undiagnosed hypertension is undoubtedly one of the most pressing healthcare concerns.

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a staggering 188.3 million individuals in India are affected by hypertension. Shockingly, only 37 per cent of these individuals receive a formal diagnosis, and an even smaller percentage initiate treatment,” said the cardiologist, while stressing the need for regular blood pressure checks, especially once you reach the age of 20.

“Diagnosis of uncontrolled hypertension involves careful evaluation of patients’ medication regimens, as well as identification and management of contributing factors such as obesity, sleep apnoea, and secondary causes of hypertension,” added Dr Mayur Jain, Consultant – Cardiothoracic Surgeon & Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeon, P. D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim, told IANS.

“The excessive pressure on the artery walls caused by high BP can damage blood vessels and body organs. The higher the BP and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage it can cause, such as heart attack or stroke, heart failure, kidney problems, etc.,” he said.

Importantly, resistant hypertension may, for months and years, show no symptoms but may create a significant health threat.

“Because high BP may not present worrying symptoms, it is often ignored, but I urge everyone never to delay treatment. The long-term repercussions of untreated and uncontrolled hypertension are severe,” Dr Refai Showkathali, Senior Interventional Cardiologist at Apollo Hospitals, told IANS.

Dr Anand Pandey – Senior Director – Cardiology, Max Hospital, Vaishali, told IANS poor medication adherence of poor medication, sedentary lifestyle choices and excessive salt intake, underlying medical conditions like kidney disease or obstructive sleep apnoea, hormonal imbalances, genetic predispositions factors can contribute to resistant high BP.

To effectively manage resistant hypertension, it is imperative to address these underlying causes with changes in medication, lifestyle, and stress management practices, the doctor said.


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