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World Hypertension Day: Experts stress importance of prevention

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 Rohit Shishodia
People in India keep having a high salt intake despite knowing that they have hypertension.

Avoiding oily and calorie-rich foods, controlling weight gain, having low intake of salt-mixed foods, maintaining BMI at twenty five, performing daily exercises, taking proper sleep and avoiding alcohol and smoking are some of the important preventive steps for avoiding hypertension, say experts.

On the eve of World Hypertension Day, Dr Ashwani Goyal, President, DMA, has said that people do not reduce their salt intake despite knowing its adverse impact.

“There should be a limit of salt even in home-made foods. People keep consuming high salt foods despite knowing the adverse effects on health. They not only take high salt in home-made foods but also consume namkeens and samosas, and maida-mixed foods, which are harmful for health,” adds Dr Goyal.

Dr Goyal points out, “There are people who have hypertension but they are not aware of it. They come to know when they get it checked. Even after they know that they have hypertension, they do not take medicines thinking that they will get addicted to medicines. They get their sugar checked but avoid checking hypertension. This is the reason there is a rise of patients with hypertension. They should adopt better lifestyle,” suggests Dr Goyal.

Dr Goyal says that hypertension can lead to various complications such as kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and poor eyesight. BP should be maintained higher between 120 and 140 and lower between 70 and 90 in adults. Anything above 140 and 90 is considered high BP. It also increases with the age of the person.

Dr Dinesh Agarwal, Senior Technical Advisor – Health, Nutrition and Wash of IPE Global, says: “Blood pressure is one of the biggest health risks the global populations face today. In fact, hypertension is the most prevalent chronic disease in India. Most of us grab snacks like namkeens and samosas (oily foods) when hungry between meals. Not only do these have a high salt content but they are also sources of trans-fats.”

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