'Few Pakistanis control blood pressure levels'

Published: May 29, 2019
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: Few people in the country adequately control their blood pressure levels while obese women have a history of being most affected by hypertension.

This was disclosed during a seminar at the medical teaching institute (MTI) Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH). The seminar had been organised by the hospital’s Cardiology Department to mark World Hypertension Day to create awareness amongst the general public.

Later, a walk was also arranged to create awareness about this year’s theme: “Know Your Numbers”. It is part of May Measurement Month (MMM) — a global awareness campaign initiated by the hypertension society and league.

The walk and seminar was attended by Coordinator Pakistan Hypertension League K-P Chapter and In-charge Cardiology KTH Prof Dr Amber Ashraf, Associate Prof Dr Muhammad Faheem, Assistant Prof Dr Saadiq Shah, Assistant Prof Dr Farooq, Consultant Dr Javed Shah and large number of faculty staff, management staff, TMOs’, HOs’, nursing and paramedics staff and general public.

KTH Associate Prof Dr Muhammad Faheem gave lectures on “Pathophysiology of hypertension”. Assistant Prof Dr Saadiq Shah gave a lecture on “complications of hypertension”. Assistant Prof Dr Farooq talked about the management of hypertension and Hypertension League Pakistan K-P Chapter Coordinator and KTH Cardiology Department in charge Prof Dr Amber Ashraf spoke about awareness and objective along with epidemiology of hypertension.

They talked about how hypertension or high blood pressure (BP) was a common health problem around the world, affecting around 15% of the global adult population.

Further, they said that there are an estimated 50 million hypertension patients in the USA and around a billion across the world.

According to the National Health Survey of Pakistan, in 1997 the Pakistan Medical Research Council (PMRC) reported that around 18% of the adult population of Pakistan or around 12 million people suffering from high BP levels.

The survey found a particularly high prevalence of high BP among urban obese women.

They added that the main aim of observing World Hypertension day was to educate the public and increase awareness around hypertension because it is a major cause for a range of health problems such as strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease apart from also contributing to dementia.

Many people who suffer from hypertension are not aware that they have it as there can be no symptoms, often people only find out after suffering a heart attack or stroke.

BP detections, evaluations and control is a gigantic task, they said, adding that even in the developed world, the best BP control is not more than 50% and a satisfactory BP control rate is between 15-25%.

In Pakistan, the control rate is merely three per cent of total diagnostic hypertension populations.

“We hope the situation is improved now.”

TMOs’, HOs’, nursing students and paramedic staff were given hands-on training on how to measure the blood pressure.

Moreover, Dr Ashraf has arranged different activities for May, including volunteer teams who have been tasked with measuring the blood pressure, body mass index, sugar of suspected patients and to record data per a performa.

These teams are also providing free blood pressure checkup to people in shopping malls, mosques, nursing students and teaching hospitals OPDs’ as well the general public.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2019.

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