Economy India
Human Development

High Blood Pressure : the Curse of Modern Life

Special on World Hypertension Day, 17 May 2024:
High Blood Pressure : the Curse of Modern Life

By Lalit Garg:-
‘World Hypertension Day’ is celebrated every year on 17th May to raise awareness about high blood pressure and encourage its prevention, detection and control. Currently, about one and a half billion people suffer from high blood pressure across the world. An estimated 46 percent of people with high blood pressure worldwide are unaware that they have high blood pressure. According to WHO, only one in five adults with high blood pressure keeps it under control, meaning 80 percent are at high risk, including heart attack, stroke, palpitations and kidney damage. Under this year’s theme, the focus will be on ‘Measure your blood pressure accurately, control it and live longer’. The main causes of high blood pressure are obesity, stress, unhealthy lifestyle, lack of regular physical activity, smoking, alcohol; excessive amount of sodium (salt) in the diet and some conditions like diabetes can also cause it. High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy.

The ambitious youth standing on the threshold of the new century are faced with an endless environment of competition. If he loses in this obstacle race, he gets surrounded by negative tensions, if he wins, then the challenging struggle of new competitions starts again. To keep his victory permanent and to set new records, he resorts to deceit and lies. Scientists say that the more lies have increased in the world, the more the risk of high blood pressure has also increased. The path of lies is never straight. It is rough, crooked and winding. The thoughts of a crooked person always remain polluted. This pollution of the mind is the root of high blood pressure. Amidst all the risks associated with high blood pressure, the increasing trend of ultra-processed food items is worrying. There is concern because despite knowing the dangers, the availability of such food items has started increasing in the market.

A recent study from Harvard University states that regularly eating processed foods increases the risk of premature death by four percent, the main one being high blood pressure. Processed foods are usually ready to use. Packed snacks, canned food, and cold drinks come under this category. Men are more prone to high blood pressure than women. To avoid this, not only is there a need to pay attention to diet and lifestyle, but it is also very important to reduce stress and exercise to keep the body active. Nowadays people between 18 years to 50 years are more victims of hypertension. Although the risk of high blood pressure is higher in men before the age of sixty, later on the risk is equal in both men and women.

It has been observed that people who do not get angry fall ill less. Complaints of high blood pressure, hypertension and severe back pain have been seen in people who get angry a lot. Along with this, such people may also have stomach complaints. World High Blood Pressure Day plays an important role in raising awareness about the importance of prevention and control of high blood pressure. It encourages people to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including getting regular exercise, eating healthy and balanced diets, and avoiding tobacco, excessive alcohol and smoking. These lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and its complications.

There is an interrelationship between a person’s feelings, thoughts, ideas and habits. Our thoughts influence our thinking and thinking changes our habits. For this you should do regular exercise. A key message of World Hypertension Day is the importance of regular blood pressure monitoring. High blood pressure is often called the ‘silent killer’ because it usually has no symptoms until it causes serious complications. Regular blood pressure checking can help in early detection of hypertension and timely intervention to prevent complications. This also includes taking medications prescribed by a health care professional.

The unprecedented progress of medical science has helped beyond imagination in saving humans from this life-threatening disease. Highly sensitive microscopic instruments for disease diagnosis, pharmacology and successful surgery – all these are no less than a lethal element. The surprising thing is that despite all this, the demonic claw of a deadly disease like high blood pressure is out of control. The medical facilities available are inaccessible to the common man.

Through this expensive medical care, affluent people may postpone the invitation of death for a period, but who can imagine the miserable condition of the poor? Scientists/doctors of Miami University, America, in their joint release have appealed not to let mental stress dominate you. In this regard, people should be taught ways to live a healthy life. He believes that people who suffer from constant stress and consume too much greasy food get easily attacked by high blood pressure. By remaining stress-free, the body’s immune power remains safe.

Various types of research have been revealing that the amount of sugar, fat and salt in such canned foods is very high, while fiber and other nutrients are less. That’s why processed food items increase the health problems associated with high blood pressure. People are getting attracted towards processed foods without any care. Such food items are especially appealing to the new generation. A report released by the World Health Organization and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations found that India’s processed food market has grown at an annual rate of 13.37 percent from 2011 to 2021.

 Although the sector’s growth rate declined to 5.50 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a temporary phase. After this, their availability started becoming easy again. Controlled trials in hypertensive patients show that supplemental potassium, fiber, fatty acids, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat reduce blood pressure.

Some population studies show an inverse relationship between dietary protein and blood pressure levels. Drinking coffee regularly increases blood pressure in high blood pressure patients. The role of ‘stress’ remains mysterious, with ‘job stresses and ‘family stresses’ being a possible independent risk factor for hypertension. The concern is that India does not have a strong mechanism to remove food items that are becoming dangerous from the market. There is no concrete policy even to control intoxicants like alcohol and smoking. In fact, there does not seem to be any thought or concern at the government level regarding high blood pressure.

It is true that the Central and State governments have launched many programs for the nutritious diet of the people, but there is no concrete policy to control the items being sold in the market which are harmful for high blood pressure. Alluring advertisements are promoting these products. No one can be allowed to play with people’s health. It is important that the government not only formulates a strict advertising and marketing policy regarding harmful food items but also implements it strictly.

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