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Dr Norgen Wilson sensitises the public about Hypertension, the “silent killer”, in observance of World Hypertension Day


by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Pan American Health Organisation has identified May 17 as World Hypertension Day to raise awareness and promote hypertension detection and prevention of the disease.

Dr. Norgen Wilson, a Medical Practitioner in St. Kitts and Nevis and a guest on the May 17 broadcast of Good Morning SKN, advised the Federation and the region about the “silent killer” and how to prevent and control it.

Regarding medical science, the average blood pressure is recognised at about 120 mm (millimetres of mercury) on the top figure or the systolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is when the heart drives a beat and pushes blood into the circulatory system. In contrast, the bottom pressure, referred to as diastolic pressure, is accepted at an average of about 80 mm (millimetres of mercury) when the heart relaxes and takes in some blood.

“Usually, you would hear, “something over something.” Now, if that blood pressure, the systolic being the top pressure, gets to 140mm or more, you are considered to be hypertensive. If the bottom pressure or the diastolic gets to 90 mm or higher, then you are also considered to be hypertensive,” explained Dr. Wilson.

He added, “Now, what happens, and why is high blood pressure so dangerous? Because of that increased pressure in the circulatory system or on the artery walls, it simply means that something might just rupture, creating damage in some organs.”

For the most part, according to Dr. Wilson, about 70 percent of people can have high blood pressure without exhibiting signs or symptoms. “That is why it is so important to take at least an annual check.” the doctor declared. He said high blood pressure can lead to other health issues, including strokes, heart failure, kidney failure and multiple organ failure, which can also lead to death.

Dr. Wilson shared that the average adult body is designed to accommodate about 4.5 to 5 litres of blood. However, when grease accumulates inside the blood vessels, it hardens, creates less space for the same amount of blood and causes the pressure to go up.

In addressing the theme for World Hypertension Day 2023, “Measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer.” Dr. Wilson explained that digital blood pressure machines that are becoming a popular means of self-check might present inaccurate blood pressure readings and encourage a more professional diagnosis.

“Nowadays, we find that many people have access to digital blood pressure machines, and they use them quite often. [From] my observations, and they would tell you in the business of medicine, a lot of these machines are actually inaccurate. If there are disturbances within the environment or the body, you can actually get a wrong reading. When you’re using a digital machine, you first have to be very relaxed, and you basically have to try to avoid moving.”

Though not all digital machines may give inaccurate readings, Dr. Wilson stated, “It is better to use the analogue machine,” He advised individuals to utilise the services of the health centres and professionals who understand the analogue blood pressure machines and who [are] paying closer attention to the finer details, such as the heart beats, etc. Wilson also advised that individuals take advantage of an ongoing, free, weekly Blood Pressure Clinic at the Health Centres.

In the medical field, an individual may normally be diagnosed with hypertension if they have three checks taken a few weeks apart, which display elevated blood pressure levels.

The doctor discouraged the use of grease or any oils in foods; He emphasised that grease is the main contributing factor to elevated blood pressure levels; thus, individuals should make it a general practice to avoid grease.


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