Experts link hypertension to high risk of virus deaths

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Mediheal Hospital, Dr Girija Mahapatra.

George Kebaso @Morarak

Persons suffering from high blood pressure are at a higher risk of dying due to Covid-19, experts are warning.

The experts warned that out of the 3,013 Covid-19 deaths in the country so far, 758 had high blood pressure as an underlying condition. 

They further cautioned that one in every four Kenyans aged between 18 and 69 suffers from high blood pressure.

And even as Kenya joined the world yesterday in marking the World Hypertension Day, the disease has continued to ravage communities across the country as experts fear numbers could be increasing due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, experts who focused on non-communicable diseases, urged Kenyans with a history of hypertension in their family lineages to seek early diagnosis to forestall complications in case of Covid-19 infections.

At the Mediheal Hospital, Dr Girija Mahapatra, a consultant physician said that delayed diagnosis leads to high risk of death if a hypertensive patient contracts Covid-19.

“Hypertension is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

Keeping blood pressure under control is vital for preserving health and reducing the risk of dangerous conditions.

This year’s World Hypertension Day theme is; Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.

The main aim of World Hypertension Day is to educate the public and increase awareness of hypertension, which is also commonly known as high blood pressure.

“Lifestyle adjustments are the standard, first-line treatment for hypertension,” Mahapatra said during an interview.

Current guidelines recommend that all people, including those with hypertension, engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, or 75 minutes a week of high intensity exercise.

“People should exercise at least five days of the week. We recommend that suitable activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming,” he said.

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