35 cardiology depts launch nationwide hypertension awareness drive

10:00 AM, 17 May, 2024
35 cardiology depts launch nationwide hypertension awareness drive

KARACHI: As many as 35 cardiology departments across Pakistan have organized public awareness walks, academic symposiums, interactive workshops, and free medical camps to educate students, doctors, paramedics, and the general public about hypertension and its risks.

Prof. Nawaz Lashari, President of PHL and Chairman of the Department of Cardiology at Civil Hospital Karachi announced this at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club. 

Prof Lashari highlighted the severity of hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, describing it as a "silent killer" affecting millions worldwide.

He warned that In Pakistan, the situation is particularly alarming, with a recent WHO report indicating a hypertension prevalence of 44pc, significantly higher than the global average of 33pc. This means that approximately 18.59 million Pakistanis are unaware they have high blood pressure, increasing their risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other serious health complications, he regretted.

Prof. Feroz Memon mentioned the devastating consequences of untreated hypertension, stressing the importance of early detection and management. Many individuals with high blood pressure experience no symptoms, leading to delayed diagnosis and potentially life-threatening outcomes, he added.

Prof. Muhammad Ishaq discussed the health risks associated with smoking and vaping, saying smoking is a major cause of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory issues, while vaping, often seen as a safer alternative, still poses significant health risks, especially for young people.

Prof. Abdul Rasheed Khan stressed the role of healthy lifestyle choices in managing hypertension. Key areas include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet low in salt, exercising regularly, managing stress, and quitting smoking and alcohol intake.

Dr. Kanwal Amir noted that hypertension is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women. She pointed out that oral contraceptive use increases the risk of hypertension, emphasizing the need for regular blood pressure monitoring for women on this therapy.

Dr. Ghulam Abbas explained that treating hypertension requires a multifaceted approach involving medication and lifestyle modifications. Medications, such as diuretics and ACE inhibitors, can effectively lower blood pressure when prescribed appropriately.

Dr. Arshad Ali Shah discussed the impact of sleep on blood pressure, noting that even small increases in nighttime BP levels are linked to higher cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Sleep deprivation and insomnia are also associated with increased hypertension incidence, he added.

Dr. Asad stressed the importance of exercise for heart health, noting that physical activity can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 50pc.

Dr. Akram Sultan spoke about the impact of excessive salt intake on blood pressure. He called for a low-salt diet to help control blood pressure levels and improve overall heart health, as high salt consumption significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.