HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE – THE SILENT KILLER

Dr. Chhajer remembers one of the statements by one of his esteemed professors about the blood pressure. He said “out of millions of high blood pressure patients 50% do not even know that they have high blood pressure; out of them who know that they have high blood pressure 50% do not take any treatment;” and he added, “out of those who take treatment 50% are inadequately treated”. Today in Saaol we all know how true this statement was.

Every day when Dr. Chhajer sees heart patients, many do not agree even that pressure of 150/100 mmHg is high blood pressure; so there is no question of taking blood pressure medicines. Once they are told that this pressure is high enough to treat you with medicines they agree that previously they had similar blood pressure and insist that there is a need for treating it as it has not caused any trouble in the past two-three years.

These things happen because of some specific reasons which Dr. Chhajer now analyzed after talking to them (Dr. Chhajer’s patients). One of the first reasons is that high blood pressure usually does not give any symptom or trouble to the patients. So they do not get alarmed or even concerned. It is called a silent killer disease.
The second important reason for this is that general physicians are not keeping track of the latest developments in medical science. Long time back a blood pressure of 140-150 systolic and 90-100 diastolic was considered normal but after the 1980s the dictum has changed. Then came the notion that 120/80 mmHg blood pressure is the most normal irrespective of the age. Since 2004 the Joint National Committee for blood pressure control has finalized 110/75 mmHg as the final and best blood pressure. But those physicians who do not keep track of these changes still allow the patients to keep 140 -150 mmHg systolic blood pressure.

The third important reason for maintaining this high blood pressure is the private physician’s tendency to keep the patients happy. Mostly they know that the blood pressure should not be more than120/80 mmHg but when they detect higher they must prescribe more medicines, which the patients do not like. So they say that the blood pressure is a little high but there is nothing to worry about. They sometimes say cut down some salt almost casually. Thus the patients take it lightly. So, high blood pressure remains untreated.
Another reason for the prevailing high blood pressure despite the fact the patients know that this pressure is high is the tendency of the patient to presume that only today the pressure is high because of some tension, and it is usually normal. They refuse to take medicines for something which does not give trouble and does not pose an immediate danger.
Remember, with the increasing pressure of work, tensions of modern life, lack of exercise and relaxation, obesity the number of high BP patients has touched a new high. In India, we have at least about 10 crores (100 million) high blood pressure patients. This increased pressure on the wall of arteries gradually damages the inner lining of the arteries and makes them prone to develop blockages or heart disease. Those who have uncontrolled blood pressure are two to three times prone to develop heart attacks. High BP also damages the kidneys and the brain in the long run. Cerebral hemorrhage and paralysis cases of which are very high these days are also largely contributed by high blood pressure.
The lifestyle advocated by Saaol is the best possible and composite way to control high blood pressure and obesity.