MOH News
MOH's Statement on the Occasion of the World Hypertension Day
07 April 2013
On the occasion of the World Hypertension Day, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has called upon community members to pay close attention to food balance, and having dishes rich in vegetables and fruits, alongside reducing the intake of salt, not to forget regular exercise, keeping body weight within the reasonable limits, and giving up tobacco-use (smoking), and measuring adult's blood pressure on a regular base.
 
In this context, the MOH Media Information and Health Awareness Center has issued a statement pointing out that hypertension provides the cause of 7.5 million death worldwide every year, comprising over 12% of the overall death toll. It increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, renal failure, blindness, and other vascular diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that hypertension affects about 40% of adults (25 years old and older).
 
It was shown in the MOH Statistical Yearbook 1432H, also, that the number of frequenters of health centers owing to hypertension was 1.268.432 persons; not to mention the various studies confirming that incidence of hypertension (and cardiac-associated deaths) are on the increase: about 18.1% of the causes of death amongst Saudis at MOH facilities is attributed to this category of diseases. On this occasion, the Ministry has issued a set of directions for all health affairs directorates to take part in raising people's awareness on this day, by means of the various awareness activities and programs, in collaboration with the relevant sectors and civil society institutions. The Ministry will also be adopting a number of initiatives over this year, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, with the aim of diminishing the incidence of hypertension. 
 
In the same vein, the National Statistics Report has indicated that, speaking of blood pressure, about 10.3% of men who were examined in 2005 were diagnosed as having hypertension, as opposed to 12.9% of women.
 
These facts come to the fore while the world is celebrating this year's World Health Day under the theme: “Control Your Blood Pressure .. Protect Your Life .. Improve Your Health”. Each year a new theme is selected for the World Health Day, that sheds light on one of the subjects of high primacy and concern for the world's health.
 
The report issued by the Information Center explained that 90%-95% of hypertension cases are of unknown reasons (they are called: primary cases), where as the incidence of hypertension of known reasons (basic cases) ranges from 5 to 10%. Many are the causes and triggers of hypertension, encompassing kidney-associated reasons (such as recurrent inflammation of the kidneys or the urinary system, caused by kidney stones or renal artery stenosis), endocrinal and hormonal disorders, or birth control pills, in addition to other causes such as aortic stenosis, polyarteritis nodosa, or as a result of pregnancy, connective tissue diseases, or high blood calcium.
 
The Media Information and Health Awareness Center underscored the importance of having vegetables, fruits, and low-fat milk products, alongside reducing the intake of salt, which leads to fluid retention in the body, causing high blood pressure for many people. Salt, therefore, shouldn't be added to foods, in addition to avoiding salty foods, such as salty meat, fast food, canned and processed meals.
 
The Center, besides, touched upon the “necessity of losing weight once the body mass index (BMI) reaches 25 or more. In such a case, it is important to lose 4-5 kg, which will notably reduce blood pressure.”
“For some,” the Center further elucidated, “weight loss could be sufficient to avoid taking hypertension medications, not to forget giving up smoking, which accelerates vascular stenosis (atherosclerosis) in those suffering from hypertension. This correlation between hypertension and smoking doubles the risk of arteries damage. It is of as high importance to give up alcohol which leads to the incidence of hypertension, as well as controlling emotional stress. Positive thinking helps a lot in controlling stress.”
 
On this occasion, the MOH Media Information and Health Awareness Center vows it will be receiving citizens' and residents' inquiries related to high blood pressure diseases, and how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that would maintain sound blood pressure. To that end, a group of specialists will be enlisted and devoted to providing apt answers for patients as well as those interested in hypertension and other diseases. Inquiries are to be received through the MOH toll-free number: 8002494444, dedicated to receiving inquiries and providing information and tips for all citizens; diseased and healthy people alike. Besides, another team has been assigned to answer the inquiries sent to the MOH's account on Twitter: @SAUDIMOH.

 

 




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