The role of reducing salt intake in controlling and preventing high blood pressure was highlighted by doctors at a meeting to deliberate on hypertension, the theme of this year’s World Health Day, commemorated annually in April.

At the meeting organised by the department of medical education unit and health science research of Chennai Medical College Hospital and Research Centre (SRM) here, Santosh Rajgopal, Madurai Medical College, cautioned against introducing salt in the diet of children below two years.

Thirumalaikolundusubramanian from the host institution prescribed watching out for the HOLD (H – hypertension, O – obesity, L – lipid disorders, and D – diabetes) phenomenon to overcome major diseases. Food industries must highlight the hazardous effects of excessive salt in savouries through labels, he insisted.

Patients with cardiovascular diseases are predicted to double by 2020, said Chenniappan, professor of cardiology, Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai. Pointing out various hypertensive complications, Dr. Chenniappan categorised risk factors that required emergency treatment.

Presiding over the event, Kalaiselvi, dean, explained the link between high blood pressure and genetic predisposition. Weight reduction, diet discipline, physical activity, and moderate alcohol are requisite to regulate blood pressure, speakers noted. Prabhu Elango, coordinator, Medical Education Unit, spoke.