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Hypertension- A World Wide Epidemic

Updated on March 30, 2016
Sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure
Sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure | Source
Illustration of High Blood Pressure
Illustration of High Blood Pressure | Source
Complications of High Blood Pressure
Complications of High Blood Pressure | Source
Rate of hypertension globally
Rate of hypertension globally | Source


Yoga and High Blood Pressure

Do you feel very dizzy? Do you experience severe headaches, vision problems or shortness of breath? So it is better you consult a doctor or specialist and measure your blood pressure. Hypertension is a 'silent killer' with no warning signs which is a global public health issue. It paves the way for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and premature death. Today raised blood pressure is highly prevalent among adults. It is estimated to cause 9.4 million deaths each year worldwide. Studies have shown that earlier diagnosis and treatment of hypertension enhance your quality of life and increased longevity.

Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which blood vessels in the arteries persistently raised pressure. In other words, the pressure in your arteries is much intense than the normal state .It is a state of great psychological stress. The blood is carried from the heart to all the parts of the body in the vessels. As the heart pumps blood, the force of blood into the vessels is pushed against the wall of the arteries.

Some of the common complications and their signs and symptoms are listed below:

Signs and symptoms:

  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nose bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

Risk Factors:

  • Age: Risk of blood pressure increases through early middle ages or about age 45 in the case of men and 65 in women.
  • Genetic Variations such as personal family history elevates high blood pressure .
  • Hypertension accelerates more rapidly often more grievous with higher mortality in black patients.
  • Overweight or Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Tobacco use or Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Sodium content level is high
  • Absence of potassium in your diet
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Stress and depression
  • Kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea can aggravate the chance of high blood pressure.

Complications: If untreated, hypertension adds extra strain on the heart and blood vessels. Some of the complications are as follows:

  • Heart attack/Strokes: High blood pressure leads to hardening and thickening of arteries causing heart attacks or strokes.
  • Aneurysms : Aneurysms develops when the blood pressure increases which affects the blood vessels to weaken and bulge until they rupture. It could be life-threatening in some cases.
  • Heart failure
  • Embolism: Blood clot or air bubble restricts the flow of blood in a vessel.
  • Memory loss
  • Vascular dementia: Blood flow to the brain drops gradually causing brain damage
  • Kidney disease

Hypertension can lead to serious health complications for both mother and developing fetus:

  • Preeclampsia also known as toxemia and pregnancy-induced hypertension that typically develops after 20th week of pregnancy. It is a serious pregnancy complication causing damage to the organs, brain and kidneys.
  • Preeclamptic women will often have swelling in their hands, feet and legs.
  • Hypertension cause headaches, irritability, fatigue, breathing problems, lack of energy and facial paralysis in older infants and children.


  • Don't consume coffee and avoid smoking for about half an hour prior to the test
  • Blood pressure is recorded in two figures: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood flow on the artery walls when heart beats or contracts. When the first heart beat is detected, a number appears on the gauge. Diastolic pressure is the pressure on the artery walls between heart beats. A number is displayed on the gauge after the last number is registered.

Living with High blood pressure:

Some of the strategies to help prevent hypertension are as follows:

  • Eat a balanced diet: Consume diet rich in fruits such as bananas, apples, oranges, pears, and prunes and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and carrots.Legumes such as kidney beans, lentils, chick peas, black-eyed peas and lima beans. Fat free dairy products such as skim milk.
  • Cut back on sodium and salt. Choose and prepare foods that are lower in salt and sodium
  • Maintain a healthy and normal body height
  • Engage in active sports and aerobic physical activity such as brisk walking.
  • Restrict alcohol consumption
  • Monitor blood pressure
  • Manage stress and relax your mind by listening to inspirational and motivational musics.
  • Performing yoga can harmonize your body and mind
  • Self-medication

World Hypertension Day( WHD) and Awareness Program:

World Health Organization (WHO) ascribe hypertension or high blood pressure is the prime cause of cardiovascular mortality. In developing countries, many people with high blood pressure are not aware of their disease. The treatment facilities are very limited to restrict their blood pressure. On May 17th 2005, World Hypertension League, an association of 85 national hypertension societies and leagues initiated a global awareness campaign on hypertension and observed May 17 each year as the World Hypertension Day. Many professional societies, non-governmental organizations and private industries promoted hypertension awareness among the public via public rallies and several mass media such as internet, television. The awareness program gathered momentum and the message outreached to more than 250 million people. WHL was fully convinced that approximately 1.5 billion people afflicted with elevated blood pressure can be reached.

How can we treat, prevent and cure hypertension?

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