The coronavirus has altered our way of life and it continues to affect many of us. As the numbers continue to increase and the statistics now include family and friends who have been sick or lost, we can't help but be worried and afraid of what might happen next.
However, during the Press Conference by the Philippine Heart Association Council on Hypertension last June 16, I realized that aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a bigger risk than we should also be concerned about.
If we don't do anything, it is estimated that by 2025, we will have more than 1.5 billion people suffering from hypertension globally and that more than 1.5 billion will be at risk to die because of cardiovascular diseases.
Thus, it is very important for us to learn more about this and understand our situation. Fortunately, we have organizations like the Philippine Heart Association who continuously look after us and champions the advocacy to fight this dreaded disease.
After 8 years through the help of the Corbridge Group, we now have updated data and a clearer picture of the current health situation in the country concerning hypertension. The results of this study conducted by the lead investigator, Dr. Jorge A. Sison, Consultant in the Adult Cardiology at the Makati Medical Center and the Past Head of the Cardiology Section, Medical Center Manila can definitely help us move forward, and hopefully, it can also help guide the government in creating a national policy on this matter.
Here are 7 things you need to know about our current situation:
- Hypertension Prevalence Rate in the Philippines is at 37%
- For Western Visayas which includes Bacolod City, from being the lowest in 2013, the prevalence rate has gone up from 13% to 43% in 2021, making us currently number 3 in the country. (Is this because of cansi? LOL)
- 18% of the total population are unaware that they are hypertensive.
- More younger people now are suffering from hypertension where the hypertension prevalence rate among adolescents (12-18 years old) jumped from 1% to 5%.
- 67% are taking medication for hypertension but BP control rate is low at 36%
- Only 25% of hypertensive monitor BP at home, digital BP monitor, the brachial type being the most common.
- Adult hypertensives have higher BMI, waist circumference, and central obesity rate.
As you can see the results are not really good thus, it is really important that we do something about it. Here are 7 Simple Tips on How We Can Beat this Bigger Pandemic
1. HAVE THE RIGHT DIET - Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Mix and match your food and opt for more colorful vegetables. It is also important that we do not overcook our vegetables.
2. LIMIT GADGET OR ELECTRONIC DEVICE USE - Minimize your use of gadgets or electronic devices to a maximum of 2 hours daily.
3. EXERCICE - Stay fit and exercise. Allot at least 1 hour per day for your fitness routine.
4. AVOID SWEETENED BEVERAGES AND SODA - Say no to beverages and soda. Water is still the liquid for our body.
5. STOP SMOKING - Smoking kills and so does second-hand smoke. If you can't help it, please be mindful not to pass your secondhand smoke to others.
6. MONITOR YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE - It is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly and that includes your children. According to Dr. Aurelia Leus, BP measurement in children is recommended to be done annually starting at 3 years of age.
7. SEEK YOUR PROFESSIONAL HELP - When in doubt, seek professional help. Ask your doctor. They are the best persons to ask whenever we have health concerns. Do not self-medicate.
We are at war with these two pandemics but we do not need to lose hope. We can win this fight! We have our trusted doctors and the Philippine Heart Association. All we need to do is listen and do our part. :)
For more tips and important updates, you may check the PHA's website - www.philheart.org
or better yet, follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/philheart.org