Adimekwe, a Resident Cardiologist in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, there is an urgent need to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage the public to prevent and control this `silent-killer’.
The World Hypertension Day (WHD) is commemorated on May 17, every year.
The theme for the 2013 event is “Healthy Heart Beat – Healthy Blood Pressure’’.
According to the cardiologist, hypertension is an increase in blood pressure to a level that can damage body organs. It is commonly known as High Blood Pressure.
“Hypertension has to do with an increase in the level of blood pressure. It has to be high to such a level that it can damage body organs.
“In medicine, that level has been defined to be greater than or equal to 140/90mmHg of blood pressure, as measured using a sphygmomanometer, on a person’s arm. Hypertension usually has no symptoms.
“However, to diagnose hypertension, this raised blood pressure must be seen to be consistently raised at three consecutive measurements, taken at least one day apart from each other,“ he said.
Adimekwe noted that the prevalence rate of hypertension in the country was about 32.8 per cent.
“In Nigeria, a recent rural and semi-urban community-based study in Enugu State puts the prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria at a range between 32.8 per cent and 46.2 per cent.
“While a meta-analytical study published recently in the well-respected online PubMed publication (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23272273 ) estimates the nationwide prevalence to be between 8%- 46.4%,“ he said.
The cardiologist identified two major types of hypertension.
“There are two types of hypertension. There is the primary and the secondary hypertension. The Primary constitutes about 95 per cent of the cases, while the Secondary is about five per cent.
“Primary hypertension is largely genetic and hereditary; thus, it runs in families.
“However, the predisposing factors of hypertension include too much intake of salt, alcohol, absence of fruits and green vegetables in the diet, lack of exercise, living a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and many other factors.