SPONSORED: Lower your blood pressure. Live better. Live longer

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High blood pressure can be easily detected through a BP test which is quick, non-invasive and can save lives!  (Image: Supplied)
High blood pressure can be easily detected through a BP test which is quick, non-invasive and can save lives! (Image: Supplied)

Most often caused by a combination of hereditary influences and poor lifestyle – a critical step in preventing and treating high blood pressure is a healthy lifestyle.

Prof Brian Rayner, nephrologist and past director of the Hypertension Institute at the University of Cape Town says “There’s little you can do little about your parents or your age, but you can live a healthier lifestyle that supports heart health.”

This includes three fundamental pillars, including exercise, nutrition and relaxation (stress management):

  • Nutrition:

Follow a diet low in salt, total and saturated fat, red meat, sugar, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates, but high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, and low-fat dairy products. Eat products in season to get optimal nutritional benefits. Maintain an ideal weight, quit smoking and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Beets have been shown to beat high BP so add some to your diet.

  • Exercise:

Physical activity is very important for the heart and circulatory system. The usual recommendation is 30 minutes of physical activity a day for at least five days a week3. There are three basic types of exercise:

  1. Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise can help lower BP and make the heart stronger. Examples include walking, jogging, skipping, cycling, cross-country skiing, skating, rowing, high- or low-impact aerobics, swimming, and water aerobics.
  2. Strength training builds strong muscles that helps burn more calories throughout the day. It’s also good for joints and bones.
  3. Stretching improves flexibility and prevents injury.
  • Relaxation and Stress Management:

Constant stress conditions may be detrimental in the long run. With normal stress levels, good quality sleep should restore energy levels, as well as counteract the emotional loads induced by daytime stress.3 Insufficient sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mortality. The US National Institutes of Health suggests healthy adults should sleep seven to eight hours a night.4

“Almost two years into the pandemic, our lives have become more sedentary. Long working hours, poor dietary habits and little to no physical activity is increasing lifestyle diseases like obesity, hypertension, and heart problems, among others,” says Rayner. “High BP doesn’t occur overnight; many live unknowingly with the illness. Left uncontrolled - high BP increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke and even death. Other complications can include peripheral vascular disease, renal damage, retinal hemorrhage, and visual impairment.”

Dr Martin Mpe a Gauteng-based Cardiologist and president of the South African Hypertension Society explains, “The reason so many are unaware of their elevated BP levels, is because it’s a disease with no symptoms. You don’t feel ill - until you have a cardiac event like a heart attack. It’s not called the silent killer for nothing.”

Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected through a BP test which is quick, non-invasive and can save lives!

“If you don’t have your BP measured you won’t know you have the condition until it strikes. Detecting hypertension early helps minimise the risks. If you have a BP higher than 140/90 immediately seek further medical intervention and work with your doctor to control it. Lifestyle changes should be sufficient to correct a BP of 130-140/80-90,” says Mpe. “If you require medication to normalise your BP, make sure you take it as prescribed by your doctor.”

Research indicates that after a year, half of people with hypertension stop their initial treatment5. This lack of adherence has dangerous consequences and increases the risk of these patients suffering a cardiovascular event like a stroke or heart attack by 1/36.

Someone’s mother, father, husband, wife, or grandparent dies every three seconds from hypertension related causes7. So, roll up your sleeves, get your BP tested.

For more: https://www.myhealth-partner.co.za/

#checkyourpressure #takeyourmedicine #becauseIsaySo

References:

  1. Ref Poulter N et al. Lancet. 2015;386(9995):801-812.
  2. Worldwide trends in blood pressure from 1975 – 2015: a pooled analysis of 1479 population-based measurement studies with 19.1million participants. NCD Risk Factor Collaboration – www.thelancet.com Vol 389, January 7, 2017 (a: pg 37, b: pg 45)
  3. Williams B et al. Eur Heart J. 2018;39(33):3021-3104. (https://www.myhealth-partner.co.za/blog/i-exercise/)
  4. Li J, Atasoy S, Fang X, Angerer P, Ladwig KH. Combined effect of work stress and impaired sleep on coronary and cardiovascular mortality in hypertensive workers: The MONICA/KORA cohort study. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2019:2047487319839183. [Epub ahead of print] (https://www.myhealth-partner.co.za/blog/i-relax/more-about-it/)
  5. Chowdhurty R et al. Eur Heart J. 2013; 34(38):2940-2948
  6. Bohm M et al. Am heart J. 2013; 166:306-314.e7.
  7. Ford ES, Cunningham TJ, Croft JB. Trends in Self-Reported Sleep Duration among US Adults from 1985 to 2012. Sleep. 2015;38(5):829-32. (https://www.myhealth-partner.co.za/blog/i-relax/more-about-it/)

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Servier.

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