Dr Swathi Gogineni, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist,Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad shares some Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Heart in Women.
High Blood pressure also known as hypertension happens when the pressure of the circulating blood is consistently too high. Hypertension is defined as having systolic blood pressure level >_ 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure level _> 90 mmHg.
24% of adult Indian men and 21.3% of adult Indian women are hypertensive. 33-40% of people in urban areas are afflicted with hypertension whereas in rural areas it is 12-17%. 24.8% of women all over the world are hypertensives. In Telangana, 26.1% of women are hypertensives. High blood pressure is often underestimated and undiagnosed among women. Only 14.5% of Individuals with hypertension are on treatment.
High blood pressure is not always accompanied by symptoms. Usual symptoms include dizziness, skin flushing etc.
Risk factors for hypertension in women include stress related habits such as eating more, obesity, family history, using tobacco or drinking alcohol. Chronic conditions like kidney disease, diabetes mellitus and sleep apnoea can lead to high blood pressure. Pregnancy can be nature’s stress test on the heart. Health problems during pregnancy, even if they disappear afterwards, can signal trouble for your heart. Many women don’t get back to their pre pregnancy weight within 12 months post-partum. This may also raise their risk for cardiac problems. Deep sleep allows the heart to recuperate from the day with periods of lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Lack of sleep increases the risk of hypertension. long period of sedentary lifestyle also increases the risk of hypertension.
If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause serious health issues. Women suffering from high blood pressure may develop vision problems, have a stroke or land in kidney failure. Heart disease kills more women than any other disease.
Tips for prevention and management
- Reduce salt intake – aim for less than one teaspoon (< 2400 Mg) of salt a day.
- Increase fruits and vegetables. Aim for 7 servings of fruits and/or vegetables a day.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Quit smoking/chewing tobacco.
- Reduce alcohol intake. Aim for fewer than 2 drinks per day and less than 9 drinks per week.
- Move more and sit less. Don’t be physically inactive. Choose an activity that you enjoy and that fits with your lifestyle. Aim for 30 minutes a day.
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for a waist circumference below 88 cms.
- Manage stress. Stay connected with those who care. Get adequate sleep.
- Control blood sugars
- Monitor your blood pressure and keep a log.
- Take your medications regularly as prescribed.
Dr. Swathi Gogineni
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist,
Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital,
Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.
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