Nearly 20 000 new hypertension cases in Nam in 2012

WINDHOEK: Namibia recorded a worryingly 19 541 new cases of people with high blood pressure or hypertension in 2012.

A total of 263 deaths from the same cause were recorded just in State hospitals alone during the same year.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Dr Norbert Forster revealed this information on Tuesday during the commemoration of World Hypertension Day in the capital.

The day is aimed at raising public awareness about hypertension, its preventive measures as well as complications.

Forster said in 2011, about 16 541 new cases of hypertension were recorded.

The Khomas Region recorded the highest number of new cases in 2011 at 3 963. This number increased to 6 041 new cases in 2012.

“This clearly reveals that people living in the city of Windhoek need to seriously strive to improve their lifestyle as a matter of urgency,” he noted.

Forster explained that hypertension is a silent killer, as it does not show clear symptoms.

He thus called on people to change their eating habits, and have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

Complications linked to hypertension are arteriosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), brain haemorrhage (blood clot in brain), stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, kidney failure, heart failure and eye damage, amongst others.

Behavioural risk factors which could lead to the development of hypertension include consumption of food containing too much salt and fat, not eating enough fruit and vegetables, intake of alcohol, poor stress management, smoking and a lack of exercise.

World Hypertension Day was first commemorated on 14 May 2005, and is organised by the World Hypertension League (WHL) to increase awareness about the condition.