Various programmes were conducted here on Tuesday by Oushadhi (Pharmaceutical Corporation Kerala Limited) to observe the World Hypertension Day.
The day (May 17 every year) has been designated and initiated by The World Hypertension League to increase awareness of hypertension.
Addressing an awareness programme, Anita Sophia of the Vinayaka Mission Medical College, Pondicherry, said that healthy diet was the key to healthy blood pressure. “Many factors can affect blood pressure. They include the condition of your kidneys, nervous system or blood vessels, and the levels of different body hormones. How much water and salt you have in your body is also important. Your blood vessels become stiffer as you age. As a result, your blood pressure goes up,” she said.
High blood pressure increases the risk of having a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, and early death. People have a higher risk of high blood pressure if they are obese and stressed out, and if they include too much salt in their diet or smoke.
“Those who have diabetes and a family history of hypertension should check their blood pressure regularly,” she said.
According to the World Health Organisation, hypertension is a major cause of cardiovascular mortality.
Quoting experts, the programme said that by 2020, India was expected to have the largest cardiovascular disease burden in the world.
“One fifth of the deaths in India are reportedly from coronary heart disease. By 2020, it will account for one third of deaths in the country. Reports say that there are at least 20 million diabetics in India,” says K.S. Rajithan, Superintendent Oushadhi Panchakarma Hospital and Research Institute.
He said that the preventive properties of herbs could be used to tackle hypertension. “Prevention is better than cure. Lead an Ayurvedic way of life to prevent hypertension. In your kitchen, replace common salt with Saindhavam or Induppu (Potassium chloride). Formulations, including Thriphala and Sarpagandhi, are recommended for hypertension. Consult a physician before you take any Ayurvedic drug for the problem,” he said. A healthy diet programme recommended by Oushadhi includes buttermilk with gooseberry. To promote the drink, it would be made available in the canteen of the Oushadhi Panchakarma hospital here, Dr. Rajithan said.
Oushadhi organises awareness programmes
on World Hypertension Day.