TCI News

TCI: Hypertension Day 2019

#Providenciales, May 16, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Every year on the 17th of May, we celebrate world hypertension day, we remind everyone of the risks and facts of hypertension (HTN). We remember those who died at the hands of HTN and encourage those currently living with the condition to lead a healthier lifestyle where they can better manage their blood pressure levels. 

According to ​ hypertension is the main factor for stroke, major risk factor for heart attacks, heart failure and kidney disease. Hypertension(HTN) has also recently proven itself to be a risk factor for vascular dementia. 

High blood pressure rarely has any symptoms, the only way to know if one has the condition is to monitor and measure their blood pressure on a relatively consistent basis. 

Having a high blood pressure reading means that your blood levels are at or above 140 mm of mercury and/ or 90 mm of mercury. 

The Caribbean has been tainted with the worst epidemic of chronic diseases in the Americas with 78% of deaths related to non-communicable diseases caused by high blood pressure, the TCI included. To date there has not been any updated statistics on hypertension numbers here in the Turks and Caicos Islands, but we do recall that back in 2018 there was possibly some 5000 persons living with high blood pressure. Preliminary analysis of data from TCI Hospital for 2017 reveal that 1,449 out-patients were treated for hypertensive disorders, accounting for 30% of possible persons likely to have HTN; most of whom were female 57.6%. On a broader scale, it is predicted that by 2025 the number of adults with high blood pressure in the world will increase by about 60% to 1.56 billion. 

In efforts to raise awareness of HTN and to recognize world Hypertension Day the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit within the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services hosted a number of events across the Turks and Caicos Islands. Events held on South Caicos on the 4th of May, Providenciales on the 10th of May and Grand Turk on the 11th of May gave persons the opportunity to benefit from an aerobic workout session, yoga, information on how to manage and prevent hypertension, demonstrations on how to prepare low cost healthy meals, samples of healthy drinks and most importantly taking their blood pressure. Discounts on Gym memberships from 3 major gyms and lots of giveaways from 4 major pharmacies. North and Middle Caicos is set for the 28th of May.

Aldora Robinson Director of Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit stated that “We need to reduce our salt intake and eat more fruits and vegetables. Some persons also feel that because they are not overweight they are not at risk and this is dangerous, if you are eating the wrong things this can put you at high risk for hypertension and other cardio vascular diseases”

Currently hypertension can be managed, treated and prevented but it cannot be cured. 

If left untreated or poorly managed it can have both economic and social detrimental consequences such as morbidity, disability, and premature death. Lifestyle factors are the best way to address high blood pressure. 

The Minister of Health, Agriculture Sports and Human Services stated that “persons need to take their health seriously exercise more, if you have a desk job get up every half an hour and walk about, start a back yard or porch garden” he further encouraged persons to try intermittent fasting.

Monitoring your blood pressure takes all of 20 minutes or less out of your day. Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without prescription. It is important to make every effort to know your blood pressure numbers. 

For more information, contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 3382772.

Release: TCIG

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