Dr Ogugua Osi-Ogbu, Consultant Physician Geriatrician at the National Hospital Abuja, has admonished Nigerians to know their blood pressure in order to manage and prevent hypertension.
Osi-Ogbu disclosed this in an interview with the press in Abuja.
According to her, hypertension, which is also called high blood pressure, was simply the sustained or persistent elevation of the blood pressure above the normal range of 120/80 to 140/90mHg.
“The condition occurs when the force of blood on the walls of the arteries is too high hence the need to always be aware of the numbers, ’’she said.
Osi-Ogbu explained that arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to supply the tissues with oxygen and nutrients.
“Every adult needs to know the numbers that change the pressure and reduce risk factors of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
Hypertension is a common health problem; someone could have it and may not be aware because the symptoms are not so obvious but referred to as the silent killer,’’ she said.
She said that there were two types of hypertension that include the primary hypertension, which in most cases the cause of the condition was unknown.
She added that the other is the secondary hypertension that is caused by the medical conditions that affects the heart, kidney, arteries and endocrine system.
Osi-Ogbu while explaining how the numbers changes into high blood pressure, said anything that works against the blood flow in the arteries could lead to hypertension such as particles of fat, cholesterol and protein.
The expert added that such plaques makes it harder for the heart to push blood through the arteries thus reducing or blocking blood flow while causing the blood pressure to rise.
She listed steps to prevent high blood pressure to include; regular exercise, reduced alcohol intake, healthy diet, avoiding tobacco, limited salt intake and management of stress in healthy ways.
Osi-Ogbu, however, advised on self-monitory by the use of a portable digital device called sphygmomanometer as well as regular medical checkup in order to detect any abnormality early.
“ Two major numbers read on the device are diastole and systole.
Even though the blood pressure changes throughout the day, systolic pressure should not be higher than 120mmHg while diastolic pressure not higher than 80mmHg.
If the numbers are frequently or permanently above 140/90mmHg then, such person have high blood pressure,’’ Osi-Ogbu said.