Friday June 21, 2024

Blood pressure root cause of health complications

May 20, 2024
This representational image shows a healthcare worker checking the blood pressure of a patient. — Unsplash/File
This representational image shows a healthcare worker checking the blood pressure of a patient. — Unsplash/File

LAHORE: Experts at a seminar have stressed measures to prevent blood pressure and termed the disease a root cause of health complications.

“If high blood pressure affects the kidneys, it can lead to kidney failure. If it affects the eyes, it can cause blindness, and if it affects major organs, it can result in the patient losing their sexual function. The primary organ affected by high blood pressure is the heart, which can lead to a heart attack or heart failure. Smokers are three times more likely to suffer from strokes and heart attacks,” the health experts said at a special seminar organised by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (MKRMS) (Jang Group of Newspapers), Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine, and Gates Pharma. The seminar’s theme was ‘World Hypertension Day’.

The seminar was presided over by Khawaja Salman Rafique, Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education, who emphasised blood pressure is the root cause of many diseases.

Khawaja Imran Nazir mentioned that the incidence of high blood pressure is rapidly increasing, and programs will be initiated soon to control it. Guest of honour Prof Dr Javed Akram, former Minister of Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education and President of PSIM, said that high blood pressure is a chronic disease, particularly critical for those with a genetic predisposition to hypertension and diabetes.

The opening remarks were delivered by Somia Iqtedar, Secretary-General of the Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine. She highlighted that high blood pressure can escalate to the point of causing blindness and contributes to 32pc of deaths worldwide.

Prof Dr Aziz-ur-Rehman, former Head of the Medicine Department at Services Hospital and Senior Vice President of PSIM, stated that a blood pressure reading above 140/90 indicates hypertension and should be treated promptly. Prof Dr Tariq Waseem, Professor of Medicine and Senior Vice President of PSIM, added that those with a genetic predisposition will never be free from this disease, but those without it can recover if kidney issues or vascular narrowing are addressed.

Prof Dr Aftab Mohsin, Chairman of the Board of Governors at Gujranwala Medical College and Senior Vice President of PSIM, mentioned that 30 to 40 million people in Pakistan suffer from high blood pressure. Failure to control it can lead to stroke, heart attack, and particularly kidney failure; 86% of premature deaths occur because people are unaware of their condition. Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood, Professor of Medicine at Allama Iqbal Medical College and President of CPSIM, stressed the importance of proper blood pressure measurement techniques, dietary caution, reduced salt intake, and regular exercise.

Shakeel Ahmed, General Manager at Gates, said that awareness campaigns were launched in 44 districts.Prof Dr Ijaz Mand, former Head of Nephrology at Sheikh Zayed Hospital, pointed out that if arteries are constricted at 80 years of age, it indicates aging.

Prof Dr M Moin, Principal of the College of Ophthalmology at Mayo Hospital, emphasised that the eyes are delicate, and high blood pressure can block eye veins, leading to blindness, especially when combined with diabetes. Prof Dr Nadeem Hayat, former Head of the PIC, noted that as obesity rises, so does the incidence of high blood pressure. Hypertension is increasingly seen in children aged 10 to 15, necessitating control measures. Prof Dr Bilal Mohiuddin, former Head of the PIC, advised taking preventive measures to control blood pressure. —Hira Batool