BAGUIO CITY, May 16 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) reminds the public on the importance of regular blood pressure monitoring given the fact that hypertension affects three of every 10 Filipino adult population and with the emergence of hypertensive adolescent.
Hypertension Awareness Month was among the health advocacies promoted in the DOH – Cordillera kapihan media forum here last week.
Dr. Mylene Genuino, Medical Specialist II of Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) outlined that hypertension or high blood pressure remains to be a risk factor for a person to suffer a heart attack or stroke or to acquire other serious illnesses.
About 30 to 35 percent of the adult population in the country are hypertensive. However, she informed that hypertension is also already being monitored among the younger age bracket and even of adolescent age.
She affirmed that they have younger hypertension patients at the BGHMC with 13 as the youngest age so far.
Hypertension can be hereditary but there are also modifiable risk factors that are lifestyle-related, thus she advised the avoidance of smoking, low salt and low cholesterol diet, maintaining ideal body weight and having adequate exercise.
Genuino also shared that from the old high blood pressure cut - off of 140/90 (diastolic/systolic), the American Heart Society initiated the lowering of the threshold to 130/80 or higher, while those with BP of 120/80 are already considered as elevated hypertension.
A person that breaks the cut – off is already given maintenance medicine prescription while those with BP that falls under elevated hypertension are advised to have a lifestyle management, she added.
Hypertension is a silent killer that shows no symptoms. When a hypertensive person is already feeling other symptoms, there is already a complication so regular blood pressure monitoring is very important.
Genuino reiterated the health department’s advice of regular blood pressure monitoring for both young and old, be it in a health facility or at home.
In observance of Hypertension Awareness Month, the Philippine Heart Association Baguio – Benguet Chapter will lead a free Blood Pressure Monitoring in different sites in Baguio and Benguet. For the BGHMC, free BP monitoring is provided to the public on May 16 and 17 (9am to 4pm) at the hospital’s waiting shed and main lobby.
Major pharmacies are also regularly offering free blood pressure monitoring, she informed. Carlito C. Dar (ALT/CCD-PIA CAR)