“Untreated or inadequately controlled hypertension can prompt different entanglements because of the requirement for blood in all parts of the body. Hypertension opens all regions to high tension, prompting harmed and convoluted supply routes to spill from debilitated and amplified conduit walls, called aneurysms,” Dr. Olatokunbo Oseni, a family doctor and Head Medical Director at the College of Lagos Medical Center, Akoka, warns.
This warning applies not only to women or men but also to children. Specialists are concerned about the increasing cases of hypertension in children, which they attribute to the consumption of fast food. They believe that obese individuals have a higher vulnerability to hypertension as they carry a weight that is at least 20 percent higher than their ideal weight. The specialists worry that people regularly consume table salt, certain condiments, sauces, and spices that contain high levels of salt.
Additionally, coronary artery disease can cause inadequate blood flow to the heart muscle, resulting in chest pain, abnormal heart rhythms, or heart failure. They are also concerned about the consumption of foods that are high in saturated and trans fat, like palm oil, beef, milk, and other dairy products, as well as the use of alcohol and tobacco, all of which contribute to hypertension. Maternal health experts in Nigeria advise women, especially those with chronic illnesses like cancer, hypertension, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, and heart disease, to avoid having multiple children due to the high mortality rate, particularly among infants under one year old.
Worried by that, the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) reports that about 38.1 percent of the population, or 76.2 million Nigerians, suffer from hypertension. These experts warn that women with these chronic illnesses are more prone to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Gynecologists suggest that these women should have a maximum of three children to minimize the risk of death. Because, according to Oseni, pre-hypertension is a condition characterized by systolic blood pressure ranging from 120 to 139 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mmHg.
Furthermore, hypertension increases the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart failure, enlargement, and myocardial infarction, ultimately leading to a higher risk of heart attack, heart failure, and sudden cardiovascular death. The National Action on Sugar Reduction, an advocacy group, advised Nigerians against the misconception that having a potbelly signifies a prosperous lifestyle. They emphasize that abdominal fat is actually associated with a higher likelihood of developing hypertension.
Despite suspicions that certain foods and drinks may contribute to high blood pressure, public health experts are warning that regular exposure to traffic noise can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure and other heart diseases. Professor Tanimola Akande, a public health expert, and Dr. Tunji Olaoluwa, a public health physician at Ogun General Hospital, emphasized that noise is a fast-acting factor that can lead to illness and even death. Akande stated that exposure to traffic noise, such as sirens, honking horns, and heavy vehicles, can negatively affect individuals’ health.
These adverse effects can range from distraction, nervousness, irritability, and anger to even death with prolonged exposure. Traffic noise can also result in headaches, sleep difficulties, anxiety, high blood pressure, and an increased likelihood of developing heart disease. This level of blood pressure increases the risk of developing hypertension, as medical professionals have as well observed that cosmetic surgery can also lead to fatalities.
They caution that individuals with medical conditions such as undiagnosed hypertension, heart diseases, sickle cell disease, and diabetes may experience fatal outcomes during cosmetic surgery. Dr. Oseni also mentioned different types of hypertension, including stage one hypertension; stage two hypertension, hypertensive crisis, hypertensive urgency, and hypertensive emergency. She highlighted the importance of recognizing that hypertension is a medical condition diagnosed when the heart consistently exerts high pressure to pump blood through the arteries for an extended period of time.
Akande stated that noise pollution occurs when individuals are consistently exposed to excessive noise. It is crucial to understand that exercise alone does not directly lead to strokes or heart attacks, yet it does enhance the likelihood of developing heart-related ailments like strokes and heart attacks. A study conducted disclosed that with every 10 dB rise in road noise volume, the risk of stroke escalates by 14 percent.
In order to prevent and lower high blood pressure, individuals are advised and encouraged to consume more vegetables and fruits, decrease sedentary habits, participate in regular physical activities like walking, running, swimming, dancing, or weightlifting, and adhere to scheduled appointments with healthcare providers.
- Onwumere writes from Rivers. He can be reached via: email@example.com