Effective lifestyle modifications like maintaining normal body weight, reducing dietary sodium to less than 2.4 gram a day, engaging in regular aerobic physical activity and consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will lower blood pressure, said Joint Director of Health Services C. Subramani.

Inaugurating the World Health Day celebrations at Nilakottai Government Hospital near here on Saturday, he said hypertension was the major preventable risk factor for premature death worldwide. It also increased risk of heart diseases, stroke, peripheral vascular diseases and other cardio vascular diseases like heart failure, pulmonary embolism, cognitive impairment, dementia and also chronic kidney disease. Change in lifestyle was essential even before starting drug therapy, he advised.

Hypertension could be diagnosed on the basis of high blood pressure. It would not show any symptom for years and even for decades and vital early warning signals too would go unheeded, he cautioned. Head aches particularly at the back of the head and in the morning as well as light headedness, buzzing or hizzing in the ears and altered vision were some symptoms, he pointed out.

Later, Dr. Subramani distributed prizes to winners. Chief Civil Surgeon and Resident Medical Officer A. Asai Thambi made arrangements.