Every year the world celebrates 17th May as World Hypertension Day. The day is celebrated to create awareness about hypertension and its symptoms. Hypertension is high blood pressure. When blood pressure rises to the level of 140/90, it is considered high blood pressure.
The theme for World Hypertension Day 2022 is "Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer." The theme emphasizes the importance of regular monitoring of blood pressure that can prevent critical conditions.
Hypertension is one of the leading factors for cardiovascular diseases. Most of us suffer from hypertension but only a few of us are aware of the fact. It is one of the main causes of premature death also. Earlier hypertension was considered to be the disease of elderly people but now it is seen in younger generations as well.
Factors causing hypertension
- Prolonged stress
- Poor dietary habits
- Sedentary lifestyle
Prolonged hypertension increases the risk of diseases – Chronic kidney disease, stroke, and cardiac diseases.
Hypertension in children
Hypertension in children is an emerging public health issue attracting the attention of medical professionals worldwide. Hypertension in children exhibits strong correlations with various factors, among which bodyweight assumes considerable significance.
Obesity, which is a serious public health concern, is increasing rapidly among children. India has the second-highest number of obese children in the world after China, according to a study, which means that 14.4 million kids in the country have excess weight. The main factors contributing to obesity in children are unhealthy food choices and lack of physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children is 15% and for those studying in private schools catering to upper-income families, the incidence has shot up to 35-40%, representing a worryful situation.
According to the ICMR-INDIAB study 2015, the prevalence rate of obesity varies from 11.8 % to 31.3%, and central obesity from 16.9% to 36.3%. A total of 5% of the Indian population is morbidly obese, (>30 Body Mass Index). Obesity corresponds to life expectancy also. Studies reveal that the life expectancy of an individual above 30 BMI is reduced by 20 years in men and 5 years in men.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Certain types of cancer
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and infertility
Beat obesity with these
- Whole fruits without discarding the fiber in fruit juices
- Vegetables, not starches like potatoes
- Whole grains and millets, nuts
- White meat like fish, and poultry for proteins
- Using plant oils on a daily basis like groundnut, mustard oil, til, and sunflower oils.
- Eat homemade food, chew properly, and drink adequate water and other calorie-free beverages, along with this physical activity for about 30 minutes daily.