High Blood Pressure is often called the “the silent killer”, because it has no symptoms, so you may not be aware that it’s damaging your blood vessels, heart and other vital organs of the body.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that symptoms will alert you to the problem of high BP. Everybody needs to know their BP numbers. If left untreated, high blood pressure also called Hypertension – can lead to a range of serious health problems, including Heart disease and Stroke.

As per WHO (World Health Organization), high BP affects every 3rd person above the age of 18. The proposition increases with age, from 1 in 10 people in their 20s & 30s to 5 in 10 people in their 50s.

Both sexes are at equal risk of developing hypertension. In India, 23.10% men and 22.6 % women above 25 years suffer from Hypertension.

Single reading of high BP is not the basis for diagnosing Hypertension. You should have consecutive high readings over time. Likewise, one normal reading does not mean you don’t have Hypertension.

Criteria for Hypertension is as under:

BP Classification

  • Value of BP(mm Hg)Optimal <120/80Pre Hypertension 120/80- 139/89Grade 1 Hypertension 140/90- 159/99Grade 2 Hypertension > Or = 160/100

Isolated Systolic Hypertension” is when systolic BP is more than 140 mm Hg but diastolic BP remains normal. It is seen especially in elderly, due to stiffening of arteries.

Accelerated Hypertension”- A rapid, sudden increase in BP.

Lifestyle modifications we all must undertake to tackle Hypertension are as follows:

  • Weight Reduction : Attain and maintain a BMI OF < 25 kg/m2.
  • Dietary Salt Restriction to less than 5gram per day from all sources.
  • DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) type dietary plan- Rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, reduced saturated and total fat.
  • Moderation of Alcohol Consumption- consume less than 2 drinks/day in men and less than 1 drink per day in women.
  • Physical Activity- Regular aerobic activity e.g., brisk walking for at-least 30min/day.
  • Quit Smoking
  • Control blood glucose, cholesterol levels by following a healthy lifestyle and medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Try and take steps to reduce your stress levels by meditation, pranayama techniques and Yoga.

I will soon share with you all the common misconceptions about Blood Pressure.

Wish everyone a healthy living!