GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – That was the theme for World Hypertension Day that was observed over the weekend on Saturday, October 17 under the banner: “Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer!”
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is the leading risk factor for illness and premature death from cardiovascular disease, according to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, calls on the public to be knowledgeable about their blood pressure number as this could be an early warning signal. Persons should have their bloodpressure measured twice a year.
Persons with high blood pressure issues should have this checked on a regular basis by visiting their physician. Other measures that can be taken to reduce risks are: reduce alcohol consumption; do not smoke; eat more fruits and vegetables; reduce stress; be more physically active; reduce ones consumption of foods high in sugar, fats and salt; By taking these measures you will be able to maintain a healthy weight.
The Caribbean Region has the highest prevalence (23.1%) of high blood pressure in the Region of the Americas as noted in the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) 2019 report on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)“NCDs at a Glance: NCD Mortality and Risk Factor Prevalence in the Americas.”
According to the American Heart Association(AHA) “Hypertension or high blood pressure is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.”
AHA: “It is often called the silent killer as most people have no symptoms until after damage has been done to organs like your heart, blood vessels and kidney.”
Sometimes the first-time persons are diagnosed with hypertension is after they are admitted to hospital for a stroke.
As Sint Maarten is still dealing with COVID-19, CPS would like to remind the public that persons with hypertension are at a higher risk for severe illness and death due to COVID-19 infection.
Therefore, it is important that everyone remains vigilant and take the necessary precautionary measures for COVID-19 including protecting those who are more susceptible to infection.