World Health Day

Published: Sunday 07 April 2013

What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is a measure of force that the circulating blood puts on the walls of the arteries. The condition when the force exceeds normal limit, is called hypertension. It can lead to stroke, heart failure and kidney diseases. Two values of blood pressure are measured - the highest when the heart contracts (systolic) and the lowest when the heart is at rest (diastolic).

It is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). A diet rich in fat and salt; use of tobacco and alcohol; and stress are the major triggers for hypertension. Even a slight elevation in pressure can reduce life expectancy. To reduce harm, doctors prescribe a variety of drugs that can be taken either singly or in combination.

These include alpha blockers, which dilate the blood vessels; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, which protect blood vessels and heart muscles; beta blockers, which decrease the rate of heart beat and blood pressure; and calcium channel blockers, which dilate the blood vessels.
Where India stands
Author(s): Jyotsna Singh
India does not have sufficient funds or plan to eradicate non-communicable diseases
Himachal model shows the way
Author(s): Jyotsna Singh
Pilot project in Solan district screens patients and uses smartphone-enabled system to manage hypertension
How to assess risk of heart disease
Author(s): Kundan Pandey
A risk chart developed 15 years ago holds the key
Residents from Dhankot village, Haryana, believe that chronic alcohol abuse among men is stressing out families and therefore leading to increased instances of high blood pressure.
tuberculosis WHO representative to India, Nata Menabde, stresses the importance of reducing the incidence of high blood pressure and how raising awareness is essential to the success of the campaign
tuberculosisSymptoms of hypertension rarely show, and an increasing number of children, adolescents across India are falling victim to it

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.