New Delhi: One out of every eight Indians suffers from hypertension. It is one of the primary causes of stroke and coronary artery deaths in our country.
Until now, a systolic reading of 120-139 mm Hg or a diastolic reading of 80-89 mm Hg indicated pre-hypertension (blood pressure values which are above normal levels) in an individual. The new American Heart Association guidelines, however, indicate that the earlier followed systolic and diastolic readings for pre-hypertension now indicate elevated blood pressure.
Occurrence of hypertension is now indicated by a systolic reading of 130 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic reading of 80 mm Hg or higher.
According to Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and managing Director, Medanta, there is, thus, an urgent need for people to address their blood pressure levels as per the new guidelines set by the American Heart Association.
“It is important to know your family history. If parents or other close relatives suffer from high blood pressure, it exposes the individual to a greater risk,” he said.
Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, tobacco usage, obesity and junk food consumption are the leading risk factors for hypertension. There is an urgent need to apprise people about the importance of lifestyle modifications that aid blood pressure control.
“Healthy adults of all age groups must engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of rigorous intensity exercise. Yoga is highly recommended for managing stress, a leading cause of hypertension. Eating healthy and balanced meals comprising of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoiding salty and fried foods can help maintain optimal blood pressure,” said Dr. R. R. Kasliwal, Chairman, Clinical and Preventive Cardiology, Heart Institute, Medanta.
Following a healthy lifestyle aids blood pressure management, helping one avoid, delay or reduce the need of blood pressure medication.