written on 04.04.2013

On World Health Day, Colombia prevents hypertension, the silent disease


Bogotá, DC, April 4, 2013.

As part of World Health Day, Colombia celebrated April 7 to commemorate the anniversary of the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MoH), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) invite the Colombian people to take actions against hypertension in a campaign called “Know your blood pressure”.

The best way to prevent this silent disease is to detect it early through frequent measurements of blood pressure. If the number is less than 140/90, it is necessary to adopt substantial changes in eating habits, increase physical activity and seek medical advice. In this sense, MoH and PAHO / WHO have five key pieces of advice to decrease the odds of having  arterial hypertension:  reduce salt consumption, have a healthy and balanced diet, avoid harmful alcohol consumption, perform physical activity at least three times a week, and maintain a healthy body weight.

A special day in the commercial centre Port a Prince (Bogota) will be organized this Saturday: Colombians will be able to know their blood pressure, regardless of their age, gender or socioeconomic status.  Another campaign is planned: ‘Reducing salt intake, no more tobacco and healthy life’, on 17 May, and another one for control of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, on September 29.

Hypertension is the leading cause of death worldwide: about seven million people every year die of heart attacks, infarction, stroke, kidney failure, peripheral vascular diseases and heart failure, those are secondary problems linked to hypertension.

In Colombia, 49% of heart attacks and 62% of brain vascular disorders are caused by hypertension. One in three people with hypertension is not diagnosed because they do not know that they have the disease.

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