Causes of hypertension start early, doctor warns

Hypertension may be a disease of the middle age or the old age, but factors leading to it start early in life, a doctor warned.

Dr. Arthur Pitargue, president of the Philippine College of Physicians said atherosclerosis, or the thickening of the walls of the arteries due to the accumulation of fats, starts as early as six.

“This leads to hypertension or high blood pressure later on,” he said during the Monthly HealthPro Kapihan at Pangasinan’s Media in Action forum at the Pedrito’s Restaurant on Wednesday.

He said that a measure that exceeds 140/90 is considered a high blood pressure.

Hypertension can lead to several complications such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and some kidney diseases.

The four major causes of hypertension are hereditary, diabetes (also a hereditary disease), smoking, and consumption of foods that are high in cholesterol. About 30 percent of all people with diabetes also have high blood pressures, he said.

He also mentioned that the other minor factors that increase the risk of developing hypertension include unhealthy lifestyle and diet, anger, stress, and the menopausal stage for women.

Pitargue advised those who have been diagnosed of the disease to reduce consumption of fatty foods and alcohol, to listen to quiet music, to watch light hearted films, and to stay away from situations that would elicit strong emotions.

Because drinking and smoking are among the causes of the disease, the medical society is now working for the approval of House Bill No. 5727, or the Sin Tax Bill, which aims to prohibit sales of wines and cigarettes in retail and to increase the taxes levied on them.

This would generate large revenue for the government while discouraging low income earners from buying these products, he added. (ANL/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)



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