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World Hypertension Day enhances public awareness on hypertension
     In support of World Hypertension Day, held annually on May 17, the Department of Health (DH) today (May 17) encouraged members of the public to be aware of and regularly monitor their blood pressure level, and lead a healthy lifestyle to fight against non-communicable diseases including hypertension.
     A spokesman for the DH said, "Hypertension is a silent killer and seldom causes symptoms until complications develop. If left uncontrolled or not properly treated, hypertension can lead to serious health problems including stroke, heart attack and kidney failure."
     An adult is said to have hypertension if the systolic blood pressure is persistently higher than or equal to 140 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and/or the diastolic blood pressure is persistently higher than or equal to 90 mmHg.
     According to a territory-wide survey conducted by the DH, the Population Health Survey (PHS) 2020-22, 29.5 per cent of non-institutionalised persons aged 15 to 84 had hypertension, including 17.4 per cent with self-reported doctor-diagnosed hypertension and 12.1 per cent with no self-reported history but raised blood pressure by physical measurement. The prevalence of hypertension increased with age from 4.9 per cent among persons aged 15 to 24 to 57.4 per cent among persons aged 65 to 84.
     Adults aged 18 or above are advised to have a regular measurement of their blood pressure at least every two years for early detection and treatment. More frequent intervals may be required according to the blood pressure level, individuals' age, overall cardiovascular risk profile, and a doctor's advice.
     The spokesman stressed that adopting a healthy lifestyle is essential for the prevention and control of hypertension. Members of the public should maintain an optimal body weight and waist circumference, cut back on salt and have a balanced diet, be physically active and limit sedentary behaviour, refrain from alcohol drinking, do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
     In particular, the detrimental effects of high salt consumption on blood pressure are well-recognised. The higher the salt intake, the higher the risk of hypertension. Epidemiological studies showed that each additional daily 50 grams of processed meat consumption was associated with 12 per cent increased risk of hypertension. Therefore, reducing salt intake has been recognised as one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. According to the World Health Organization, healthy adults should consume less than 5 grams of salt per day.
     Members of the public are also advised to consume at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables per day and limit the intake of processed meat as well as food and drinks high in fat and sugar.

     "The Government is committed to reducing the impact of hypertension among the local population. We will continue to organise health promotion campaigns, as well as work in close partnership with various stakeholders to increase people's health literacy and foster a health-enhancing environment," the spokesman added.
     More information on hypertension is available on the DH's thematic page or Non-Communicable Diseases Watch.
Ends/Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:00
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