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The Ministry of Health has appealed to Saint Lucians to regularly check their blood pressure and document the results, noting that 1 in 3 adults locally suffers from hypertension.
The appeal came on Tuesday from Senior Medical Officer, Non-Communicable Diseases – Dr. Shana Cyr-Philbert, in a message to mark World Hypertension Day.
She urged people to contact the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards to determine the validity of their blood pressure monitor since unvalidated devices can give inaccurate readings resulting in ‘dangerous consequences’.
Hypertension or high blood pressure has often been referred to as the silent killer.
It’s because many patients do not have any symptoms for a while.
Dr. Cyr-Philbert observed that the lack of symptoms causes the condition to be ‘particularly dangerous.’
“Worldwide, fewer than half of the people who have high blood pressure know it while only 1 in 5 people with high blood pressure actually have it under control,” the Senior Medical Officer explained.
But Cyr-Philbert disclosed that high blood pressure is the most common preventable cause of conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.
In addition to revealing that some 1 in 3 adults in Saint Lucia has high blood pressure, she stated that strokes and heart attacks continue to be the leading cause of death.
“High blood pressure control is extremely important as controlled high blood pressure results in significantly fewer deaths, disabilities, and events such as heart attacks and strokes,” the senior Medical Official said.
She also said that high blood pressure causes people to die younger.
Nevertheless, Cyr-Philbert indicated that people could control the condition through lifestyle changes and prescribed medicines.
This year’s World Hypertension Day theme is: “Measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer.”
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