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KARACHI: People as young as 18 years of age are now being affected hypertension or high blood pressure, whose incidence has jumped to 46 percent in Pakistan in 2020 from 13 percent in 2010, health experts Thursday said, adding that high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attacks, kidney failure, blindness, stroke and many other diseases.

Addressing a news conference regarding the 24th Annual Scientific Conference of Pakistan Hypertension League (PHL) being held in Karachi from Friday, PHL office-bearers and eminent cardiologists said due to high incidence of hypertension in the country, millions of people were dying in early age due to heart attacks, renal failure or getting disabled permanently due to strokes or blindness.

“Of the 46 percent people who are suffering from hypertension in Pakistan, half of them don’t know that they have high blood pressure and by the time they are diagnosed, it has caused irreparable loss to their vital organs including heart, kidneys, brain as it hardens the arteries, decreases blood flow and oxygen to heart,” eminent cardiologist and Vice Chancellor, Indus Medical University told a news conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday.

Prof Feroz Memon, who is the founding member of PHL, maintained that sedentary lifestyle, abstaining from physical activity and exercise, eating junk food, obesity, smoking and excessive use of salt were the leading causes of hypertension and warned that if immediate measures were not adopted, the incidence of hypertension could further increase and reach upto alarming proportions.

Another renowned cardiologist and Secretary General of PHL Prof Muhammad Ishaq said hypertension is a silent killer and mother of all the major diseases but deplored that unfortunately, majority of people who were suffering from the disease were unaware of the disastrous impacts of the high blood pressure on their bodies, to their families and to the entire society.

“At the 24th Annual Scientific Conference of the PHL, we are going to educate the doctors, common people and the media about disastrous impacts of the hypertension, which is preventable and controllable health condition,” the Prof Ishaq said and announced to give Hypertension Research Award to the best research paper presented at the health conference, for which local pharmaceutical firm Pharmevo would be the sponsor.

Head of Cardiology Department at Dow University of Health Sciences Prof Nawaz Lashari said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah would be the chief guest at the hypertension league conference, which is being held at a local hotel in Karachi from Friday to Sunday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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