It is mandatory to prevent and detect hypertension
Preventing and detecting high blood pressure in a timely manner is a huge challenge for health systems since high blood pressure contributes to multiple complications, several specialists warned.
Known as the silent disease because it produces no symptoms and can go unnoticed, hypertension can affect 1.5 billion people worldwide by 2025.
On the occasion of World Hypertension Day, which is celebrated every May 17, Dr. Manuel Lavariega Saráchaga told Efe that many hypertensive patients do not know it and therefore are not treated, leading to complicated scenarios such as the current pandemic by coronavirus.
The specialist, Academic Director General of the University of the Patient of the General Hospital of Mexico, explained that hypertension is a risk factor "because an uncontrolled patient has a higher risk of being attacked by the coronavirus."
This explains, according to the Mexican health authorities, that seven out of ten victims of COVID-19 in Mexico were diabetics, hypertensive and obese, "which puts the country at greater risk than others," said Dr. Lavariega.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that there are currently 1,130 million people with hypertension in the world and only 1 in 5 people with this condition has it under control.
ONE OF EACH FOUR MEXICANS IS HYPERTENSIVE
High blood pressure is a condition that occurs when blood pressure levels exceed 140/90 mmHg, and only in Mexico is it estimated to affect just over 25% of the population.
Dr. Miguel Chagoya Triana, a clinical cardiologist, explained that the main problem of this condition is that it is a silent disease that rarely produces symptoms, although when they appear they are not very specific.
"It can generate symptoms such as headaches, general discomfort, ringing in the ears, lights in the eyes, but most of the patients are asymptomatic," he said.
He added that it is a disease that carries a high burden of mortality and morbidity to patients internationally, especially because it is estimated that about 40% of the population that is affected does not know it.
The specialist explained that regardless of the pandemic, those who suffer from this disease, if they do not have adequate control, may be predisposed to suffer heart attacks, angina, progressive retinopathy, in addition to reducing their visual acuity, kidney function, arrhythmias, among other things.
UNIVERSITY TO EDUCATE THE PATIENT
Among the main problems with hypertension is the lack of adherence to treatment, since of the 70% of patients who take medications, only 48% are within optimal control of the disease.
That is why in 2012, the General Hospital of Mexico "Dr. Eduardo Liceaga" launched the University of the Patient, a project whose purpose is to educate patients so that they learn to correctly follow the instructions of the attending physician. .
In this way, everything that is taught is oriented to the patient and what is sought is for them to know the care they must have in their own home and the importance of therapeutic attachment for the control of their disease, including hypertension.
In addition, over time it has also become a link between the Mexican legislative and executive power to propose value-added ideas regarding the control of chronic diseases and the quality of life of patients, explained Dr. Lavariega Saráchaga.
Education has also been transferred to its website, where information is published regarding workshops or courses that are carried out with specific patients, self-help groups, and calls are made or information is sent to patients with specific diseases that have risk factors.
In addition to this, they generate annual campaigns to raise awareness about chronic diseases and, this year, they are focused on hypertension.
"The critical mass of patients who have risk factors or who are already hypertensive and even who are complicated walk the streets without knowing that they are," said the expert.
For this reason, he stressed the importance of having well-specified and planned activities with the health authorities to correctly deal with identifying adequately and diagnosing patients early.
With the slogan "Change your future", they seek to join efforts so that today all that critical mass of patients who are not treated, can become aware of it.
"Change your future, you decide, because if we do not change what we are doing today the future will be difficult," concluded the specialist.