Hypertension on the increase among youths in the Eastern Region

A deputy director of public health has said hypertension results from multiple factors such as heredity, unhealthy lifestyles such as drunkenness, a sedentary lifestyle and eating foods containing high calories

The deputy director of public health at the Eastern Regional of the Ghana Health Service, John Otoo, has said hypertension is on the increase among the youths in the region.

Otoo said, “what is interesting is that we are having young people who are in their productive years recording this condition: people in their late 30s and 40s, which is unacceptable.”

The deputy director told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that hypertension in the youth means the heart is going to work against a raised blood pressure for a very long time. That is dangerous.

He said, “the probability of your heart failing is very high, the probability of having a stroke is very high, probability of having kidney disease and blindness is very high because of the raised blood pressure.”

Otoo noted that hypertension results from multiple factors such as heredity, unhealthy lifestyles such as drunkenness, a sedentary lifestyle and eating foods containing high calories.

He, however, observed that formerly, hypertension, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were only recorded in persons who were older and had grown past their productive lives.

The deputy director stated that the health directorate is putting in place strategies to increase NCD awareness in the region, as well as increase the number of wellness clinics in all districts in the region.

The wellness clinics, Otoo said, are to help detect any abnormalities in the general health condition of citizens so that they will be referred to care facilities for management.

Again, he indicated that the public will be educated on the need to access wellness clinics since the few available in the districts are not being patronized as expected.

Otoo said: “The unfortunate thing is that hypertension, for example, is among most of the chronic diseases that when they start you will not know until you start experiencing the complications.”

He, therefore, advised citizens to visit the wellness clinics, at least, every six months to check their blood pressure, sugar level, body mass index and others for the sake of their health.

Otoo advised citizens to be conscious of their lifestyles because of the changing way of living. He said, “now everything is at hands reach, easy to access. We need to exercise more and eat healthily.”

Non-communicable diseases refer to a group of health conditions that are not mainly caused by acute infections, however, result in long-term health consequences and often create a need for long-term treatment and care.

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