ISLAMABAD: A health expert has said that the silent killer of high blood pressure is affecting more than 3 million people in Pakistan.
Shockingly, the prevalence among youngsters aged 18-29 is at 23%, primarily due to unhealthy dietary patterns and lack of exercise.
In an interview with a private news channel, renowned Cardiologist Prof Dr Fawad Tariq expressed severe concern about the alarming rates of high blood pressure patients in Pakistan, particularly among women over 45 years old.
Emphasizing the need for increased awareness, he highlighted the importance of educating the public about healthy food choices, care, and prevention to curb the spread of the disease. Dr. Tariq stressed that high blood pressure is not just a concern for older people but is increasingly affecting the younger population.
Dr. Tariq pointed out that the prevalence of fast food and processed snacks in the diets of many young Pakistanis contributes to the problem. The excessive intake of sodium, unhealthy fats, and sugary foods can wreak havoc on blood pressure levels, leading to hypertension.
He suggested that adopting healthier lifestyle habits, such as practicing meditation, yoga, and mindfulness, can significantly decrease the likelihood of developing high blood pressure and contribute to lowering it if already elevated.
Referring to a recent Pakistan Adolescents Schools Survey, Dr. Tariq mentioned that over 80% of adolescents in Pakistan have unhealthy diets.
A World Health Organization (WHO) study revealed that a significant percentage of boys and girls aged 13-15 were not sufficiently active, with factors like the absence of school playgrounds and lack of parental support contributing to physical inactivity.
Dr. Tariq stressed the importance of combined community education and healthcare provider education for effective hypertension control in the country. —APP