A medical practitioner and health brand strategist, Dr. Juliet Offiah, has listed drug abuse, unhealthy lifestyle as some of the risk factors for hypertension.
Offiah said this during a virtual health talk facilitated by telecommunication firm, 9mobile, with the theme, ‘Responding to the Rising Challenge of Hypertension in a Pandemic Depressed World.’
She also said excessive consumption of alcohol could also be a risk factor for hypertension, adding that most people with hypertension may not be aware of the problem because sometimes it had no warning signs or symptoms.
“Most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because sometimes, unfortunately by the time they realise this, it may have caused significant damage. While there are no known causes of hypertension, there are identifiable risk factors closely associated with the disease, which can be classified into modifiable and non-modifiable factors.
“The modifiable risk factors are behavioural patterns within the control of an individual such as excessive consumption of alcohol, abuse of drug and unhealthy lifestyle. While non-modifiable factors are beyond the control of an individual such as aging process, racial background and family history. The condition can be effectively managed with the right medication and a change in lifestyle,” Offiah said.
She identified some of the preventive measures as reduction in salt intake, consumption of more fruits and vegetables, avoiding the use of tobacco, reduction in alcohol consumption, limiting the intake of foods high in saturated fats and regular physical exercise.
The expert also stressed the importance of regular checkups and observing a disciplined regiment of prescribed medications as helpful measures in managing hypertension.
She said, “The onslaught of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is said to have also impacted on the numbers of emerging cases of hypertension across continents, as people battle with stress and their mental health. Global and local medical health care resources remain largely focused disproportionately on containing COVID-19 with little attention paid to other medical conditions.
“Telemedicine has come to stay; people should be able to have access to health services virtually especially during this pandemic. It will help health care systems around the world a great deal to keep health records of patients, this way we are able to keep track and retrieve data easily.”
Reiterating 9mobile’s commitment to the wellbeing of Nigerians, the firm’s Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Abdulrahman Ado, said, “We decided to put the spotlight on the subject of hypertension because of the worrying trend we are beginning to see.”