Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Obesity and lack of knowledge: Risk factors for Hypertension

A better way to control hypertension is by knowing more about it, says Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Published: Nov 20, 2019 10:39:50 AM IST
Updated: Nov 20, 2019 05:11:30 PM IST

Obesity and lack of knowledge: Risk factors for Hypertension
Globally, obesity is on the rise. Trends in India, too, indicate that proportion of population is now obese. And the problem doesn’t restrict itself to adults; the number of obese and overweight children, too, is on the rise. The reason for obesity might seem simple - one takes in more energy than one can expend. However, it is a complex matter worth an in-depth discussion, but for another day. What needs our immediate focus is the link between obesity and hypertension. 

Studies have found a definite link between obesity and hypertension primarily relating to hemodynamics or the dynamics of blood flow. As a result of obesity, fatty tissue increases vascular resistance, thereby increasing the pressure required to pump blood throughout the body. Of course, obesity has other harmful effects, however, hypertension is one of the most significant ones as it hardly ever gives a patient a warning sign. Most people with hypertension don’t know they have it, which results in more unnecessary, and sometimes even fatal, complications.

To overcome this, prevention is perhaps the best bet. Weight loss and management is not only beneficial to ensure that hypertension is kept at bay, but also helps the body function normally for as long as possible. Thus, weight loss and management can not only have a positive effect on health but also on how the patient feels emotionally, in turn, improving the quality of life significantly.

Issued in Public Interest by USV PVT LTD 

Busting Myths About High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is no doubt a deadly disease, but the myths surrounding it sometimes tend to make it less severe in perception, or even easy to cure or avoid. This results in people at risk of hypertension, or even those suffering from hypertension, to undermine their condition, and take a casual approach to treatment. 

What makes hypertension such a serious condition is that symptoms are often undetected for a very long time, and then, when the disease has progressed to severe levels, the symptoms might begin to appear. In such a scenario, untreated or undiagnosed hypertension can damage the body, especially the arteries, heart and other organs, for years before the patient realizes they have hypertension and seeks medical treatment. 

Popular myths around hypertension range from advice to lower stress in life, remain cool and calm, to stopping medication when blood pressure levels in a hypertension patient lower. People often believe that hypertension is genetic, so if it runs in the family, individuals can do nothing to stop the onset of the disease. Similarly, people also believe that if no one in the family suffers from hypertension, even they become exempt from it. These false notions go a long way in harming patients and must be quashed at the earliest, as they can lead to fatal complications.

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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