30 Under 30 2020

Obesity: Increasing vulnerability for hypertension

Dr. Apurva Madia explains the relationship between obesity, lifestyle and high blood pressure

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Published: Jan 24, 2020 10:36:47 AM IST
Updated: Jan 24, 2020 11:48:10 AM IST

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In India, there has been significant increase in the prevalence of obesity over the last 10 to 15 years, with almost one third of the adult urban population estimated to be overweight or obese. The basic cause for obesity is an imbalance between intake and expenditure or energy. However, numerous factors have contributed to the rising prevalence of obesity among Indians such as lifestyle changes due to urbanization and industrialization, limited physical activity, poor dietary habits etc.

During obesity, the increase in fatty tissue increases the vascular resistance that consequently increases the workload on heart to pump the blood throughout the body. Primary hypertension is consistently gaining prevalence in association with obesity. Studies report that hypertension is 34 times more prevalent in obese children as compared to non-obese.

Though anti-hypertensive medications are helpful in lowering down the blood pressure, achieving weight loss can significantly reduce the blood pressure levels or may also permit a decrease in number or amount of medications taken. Several lifestyle changes like healthy diet composed of fresh fruits and vegetables, low salt and fats; being physically active with regular exercise; limiting alcohol intake can be helpful in reducing weight and hypertension.

Weight loss would surely be beneficial in managing your blood pressure if not to normal but at least to some extent with definite benefit on risk progression.

Issued in Public Interest by USV PVT LTD 

Lifestyle: The Cause And The Most Effective Treatment For Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common lifestyle disorder, but often it isn’t seen as the culprit until a serious medical problem appears. It is a dangerous disease in its own right, however, with multiple complications. It can permanently damage the eyes, lungs, heart, or kidneys. But, the good news is that like most of the lifestyle disorders, hypertension is preventable and even reversible to some extent. In fact, at times no medication is then required at all, provided the changes are adopted before the rise in blood pressure becomes irreversible.

A number of daily practices ranging from poor diet and minimal or no physical activity to poor psychological health collectively constitute an unhealthy lifestyle. A focus on these aspects is required so as to prevent disorders like hypertension. It is advised that a healthy diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables; lower intake of salt, sugar and saturated fats; moderate physical activity; limited alcohol intake; managing body weight and stress are some of the key lifestyle improvements that reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, like every lifestyle disorder, poses two choices that many people find distasteful: live with positive habits or resign yourself to taking medication as you grow older. All lifestyle options are a matter of personal choice. Moving in the right direction doesn’t need to be drastic if you start early enough. Stay in your comfort zone while reassuring yourself that the zone can expand until you reach your ideal goal.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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