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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Slender, young, athletic? You can still develop hypertension!

Some people think individuals who develop hypertension are usually obese, old, and live a sedentary lifestyle. But, experts say it is possible to be slim, young, athletic and still develop hypertension.

Hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, according to the World Health Organisation is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in the vessels.

“Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels. Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to pump.

“Hypertension is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney, and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide, with upwards of one in four men and one in five women – over a billion people ­– having the condition,” WHO said.

The Nigerian Hypertension Society puts the prevalence rate of the condition at around 30-40 per cent in the adult population.

Hypertension symptoms to watch out for

A study has also shown that one-third of high school, college, and professional players who are young, healthy, and athletic, who underwent screening at the Stanford Sports Cardiology Clinic were reported to have high blood pressure.

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According to the President of the Nigerian Hypertension Society, Prof Ayodele Omotoso, a slender, young, and athletic individual can develop hypertension.

Omotoso, who is also a professor of Medicine at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, and Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State said, “We have people who are obese and are not hypertensive and we have people who are young, slender and athletic develop hypertension due to genetics.

“It is not every obese person who is hypertensive and it is not every athletic person who is not hypertensive. We have seen those who are young, slim, and athletic who are hypertensive, it depends on the genetics, so, it is not impossible.”

Foods that could cause hypertension
Healthy foods that help your blood pressure

How to prevent hypertension
Choose healthy meal and snacks over junk, and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Maintain a healthy weight. It is recommended to exercise regularly to keep your weight in check.

Avoid smoking. If you do not smoke, do not start it. Smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for hypertension.

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Limit your alcohol intake. Do not drink too much alcohol because it can raise your blood pressure.

Getting enough sleep is important to your health. Not getting enough sleep regularly has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Angel White
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