High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension, is often called "silent killer". The symptoms of high blood pressure are very rare in the early stages, and most patients are not aware of their elevated blood pressure level. However, hypertension or high blood pressure can lead to huge damage towards our health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that high blood pressure has become the second largest risk factor affecting death rate globally. The number of people suffering from hypertension worldwide is up to 1.28 billion, and the complications from hypertension account for 9.4 million deaths worldwide every year. In Malaysia, the proportion of adults suffering from high blood pressure has exceeded 30%, and approximately three out of five of them are not aware of their high blood pressure problems. Due to the diet choices and living habits, the trend of hypertension in adults below age of 40 are gradually increasing. Therefore, we should monitor our blood pressure level regularly, especially if you have a family history of hypertension.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is created by the force of blood exerted on the walls of arteries when the heart pumps blood into the blood vessels. Blood pressure is shown as two numbers which are systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.

Systolic Pressure measures the force of blood against your artery walls as the heart contracts and pump the blood out.

Diastolic Pressure measures the force of blood against your artery walls as your heart relaxes.

Blood Pressure Systolic Pressure
Unit:mm hg
Diastolic Pressure
Unit:mm hgg
Ideal 120 80
Normal 130 85
Elevated 130-139 85-89
Hypertension Stage 1 140-159 90-99
Hypertension Stage 2 160-179 100-109
Hypertensive Crisis ≥180 ≥110

Risk Factors of Hypertension :

  • Diet Choices
    High salt intake, deep fried food or food high in trans-fat, and lacking of potassium in the diet could increase risk of hypertension.
  • Living Habits
    Besides diet, maintaining healthy lifestyle is also an important factor which can affect blood pressure. Stressful condition could lead to the increase in blood pressure. Insomnia problem or lacking of sleep can also cause irritability, mood swings, and elevated blood pressure. Some of the bad lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol abuse are one of the risk factors for hypertension and should be minimized or avoided. Exercise is proven helpful for hypertension, exercise can improve blood vessel elasticity and reduce the risk of hypertension.
  • Family history of hypertension
  • Aging

Complications of hypertension

High blood pressure is closely related to many fatal diseases and complications. When blood pressure is not under controlled, it may lead to some of the complications of high blood pressure which includes heart failure, heart disease and stroke.

CHEVIN Nutritionist Ke Qi:

Hypertension may have no warning signs or symptoms, therefore, it is recommended to measure your blood pressure regularly. Especially for people with high blood pressure, it is necessary to measure and record it every day to ensure that the blood pressure is maintained at a normal level and under controlled. If you notice constant increase of your blood pressure, you should inform and discuss with your doctor. Healthy lifestyle starts from ourselves, you can make changes to your life. Try to cut down on food with high salt and oil, do more exercise, and try to release stress whenever you feel congested.

Nutritionist Lau Ke Qi

  • Taylor's University
  • Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition
  • Master degree in Nutrition University Putra Malaysia
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