Ae_talks_All2022/08/04 21:13

Hypertension is one of the most common chronic conditions in world and also the major causes of premature death worldwide. According to WHO, it is estimated that 1.28 billion people between the ages of 30-79 years worldwide have the condition, with two-thirds of the said number are persons living in low and middle income countries. Also about 46% of adults are unaware they have this condition with about 42% have been diagnosed and treated. Approximately, 1 in 5 adults with hypertension have it under control (WHO, 2021). Many people are aware of the condition but few know what it entails. As a Physician Assistant still undergoing training, I have observed many individuals living with this condition who are not well educated about their condition. Hence, I want to use this platform as a way to educate the general public on this condition. Hypertension as defined by American College of Cardiology/ American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) contains two levels. The first level is an elevated blood pressure with a systolic pressure between 120 & 129mmHg and diastolic pressure less than 80mmHg. The second level is defined as stage 1 hypertension with a systolic blood pressure of 130 & 139mmHg or diastolic pressure of 80 to 89mmHg (Medscape: Alexander, 2019). In order not to bore you with medical jargons, hypertension is simply defined as when an individual has a blood pressure reading of more than 140/90mmhg on more than one reading. This definition varies for every individual as the readings tell how each management goes. Hypertension typically has no symptoms, hence why many individuals go on about their lives without knowing they have the condition. Though, some individuals present with the complications of the untreated hypertension. Hypertension has “NO CURE!!” Persons living with the disease have it until their last breath but the condition could be put under control. Hypertension may results from many causes, such as having a family member with the condition, diseases that affect the kidneys, Diabetes, diseases that affect the endocrine system (the system regulates the metabolism and hormones of the body), drugs like alcohol, contraceptive pills, some pain medications, steroids, pregnancy related hypertension, high salt and fat intake (Owusu, 2019). These poses and individual to get the disease but usually it takes some time for the condition to manifest in one’s system when these factors are available. Complications of hypertension are mostly stroke, eye diseases, heart failure and kidney failure. These complications could manifest in individuals who have had the condition for so long or individuals who are yet to be diagnosed or individuals who have poorly controlled blood pressure readings. Moving forward, persons living with hypertension are managed thoroughly to keep the condition stable. They are meant to have routine check-ups at the hospitals preferably every month but in some cases could be more than a month. Also the yearly check of the eyes, heart, kidneys and cholesterol levels. In cases where some tests have an abnormality, the individual is made to do further test to know how far the abnormality has progressed. They are also put on a flexible dieting plan according to their income so their condition stays stable. The prevention for hypertension is very simple, routine medical check-up is necessary, reduce salt and fat intake, reduce alcohol intake or avoid alcohol, frequent exercise, avoid too much self-medication and good dieting choices. In conclusion, living with hypertension is not so terrible aside from the constant taking of medications. An individual can still live a normal life without the disease giving him or her so many restrictions. Thus I encourage anyone reading this article to take good care of themselves and prevent such a long lasting condition to befall them.


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