KARACHI: It is not enough to diagnose a patient for hypertension by checking their blood pressure, warned Dr Abdul Rashid Abdul Rehman, while discussing new British guidelines for the condition in which blood pumps against the walls of the arteries with too much force.
“As hypertension has no symptoms, everyone above the age of 40 should get checked once a year,” he said while speaking at the hypertension seminar at the 22nd Biennial International Convention of the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) on Sunday.
“It is good to go to a doctor and ask him [or her] to check your blood pressure and if it is high, ask them for ways to bring it back to normal.” He did not suggest that people start taking medicines till their BP goes over 160/100 mmhg.
He recommended a yearly check if a person’s family has a history of hypertension. Rehman, who is a professor of medicine and the president of the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia, said that it was important to do so because there are no symptoms of hypertension and for the most part, the patient felt fine.
According to the British guidelines, while monitoring blood pressure at a clinic, anything over 145/90 millimeters of Mercury (mmhg) should be diagnosed as hypertension. However, if monitoring blood pressure at home, anything over 135/85 mmhg was considered hypertension. In less than five per cent of cases, hypertension is caused by kidney problems or hormones.
Since hypertension is mostly genetic it is important to monitor blood pressure. “If you’re overweight, it is important to eat healthy and exercise for 30 minutes every day,” said Dr Rehman. “For a healthier lifestyle you must reduce your salt intake and eat more vegetables and fruit.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2012.