Go for regular check-ups to avoid heart attacks "Society of Cardiology advises citizens"
The Ghanaian Society of Cardiology (GSC) has advised people to adopt healthy lifestyles and also ensure they go for regular check-ups to reduce their vulnerability to hypertension and its complications such as heart attacks and sudden death.
Hypertension, according to the cardiologists, was steadily on the rise among the young and old, with many cases being acquired from unhealthy lifestyles such as lack of exercise, alcohol and tobacco use, eating of junk foods, among others.
More worrying was the fact that most people did not know they were hypertensive until the unfortunate happened.
“Hypertension is like a thief in the night. It often gives no signs or symptoms until complications develop.
Hypertension is a silent killer and we usually invite it in,” the Vice-President of the GSC, Dr Francis Agyekum, said in an interview during the commemoration of World Hypertension Day in Accra yesterday.
The day is observed every May 17, to raise awareness and promote hypertension prevention, detection and control globally.
Hypertension, which is also referred to as high blood pressure, is the main risk factor to developing cardiovascular diseases.
More than one billion people around the world live with hypertension which is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases and premature death worldwide.
However, half of the number are unaware of their condition, thus, putting them at risk of avoidable medical complications and death.
As part of activities to celebrate the day, the GSC organised a virtual forum on the topic: Hypertension: Diagnosis and current management”.
The society has also scheduled screening exercises at some designated informal business places across the country on Friday, May 26, 2023.
Dr Agyekum also said while hypertension could be hereditary as one can inherit it from a family that had a history of the condition “more and more people were being diagnosed because of their lifestyles”.
“Poor diet, tobacco use, alcohol use, lack of exercise and adaptation of sedentary lifestyles are the leading causes of the condition,” Dr Agyekum, who is a consultant cardiologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and a lecturer with the University of Ghana Medical School, added.
The Vice-President further advised those who had been diagnosed and put on medication to be diligent in taking their drugs as it contributed to the effective management of their condition.
“It is important for those put on medication to be religious about taking it.
As it is said, prevention is always better than cure and every time one skips taking the medication, they are increasing the risk of having a fatality, they would be lucky if they have a mild impact, but oftentimes it is fatal, which comparatively becomes more costly to treat or even results in death.
“Altering our lifestyle to adopt healthy life choices can also help to reduce complications and in few instances reverse the condition.
“People should avoid trying to use the prescriptions of others to manage their condition because a medication that will work for them may not necessarily be the best treatment for others,” he said.