World Hypertension Day: Why blood pressure and heart have mercurial relationship

World Hypertension Day: While high blood pressure itself may be a relatively silent and inconspicuous disorder, it is arguably the commonest risk factor for heart diseases

Representational image. News18

High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension, is one of the most common disorders in India and worldwide. At least one out of every three adults in our country is estimated to have high blood pressure.

While high blood pressure itself may be a relatively silent and inconspicuous disorder, it is arguably the commonest risk factor for heart diseases and associated deaths in adult people.

High blood pressure may sometimes arise from an underlying disease, but in most instances, occurs without a causative disease. Improper coping with stress, salt imbalance, excess body weight, high cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, kidney disease are some common risks associated with high blood pressure.

In people with hypertension, when the heart tries to pump blood, it encounters more resistance against its effort. Thus, the heart muscle requires to put more effort, to pump the necessary amount of blood into the circulation. Over the years, this leads to stiffening and hypertrophy of the heart muscle, which reduces the capability of the heart to work effectively. A stiff heart does not relax properly in between the beats, and thus, fails to receive enough blood to pump it out, as per the body’s requirement. Often, this may not be an apparent problem when the individual is resting but gets unmasked during exercise.

The medical standard guidelines, such as those of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), recommend reducing blood pressure to a target level of 130 / 80 mmHg, but keeping the level at 120 / 70 mmHg.

Holistic care should aim to achieve reasonable weight loss through medically recommended and supervised dietary control as well as physical activity, managing stress through meditation and appropriate coping mechanisms, keeping a regular check on blood pressure as well as the overall heart health, treatment of hypertension and associated risk factors, addressing the underlying diseases if any, and sustaining a positive attitude towards caring for health in long run.

Effective blood pressure control, along with healthy lifestyle practices, are the cornerstones for leading a better and healthier life.

The author is a Senior Interventional Cardiologist Ramya Heart Care Centre, Hyderabad. Views are personal.

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