Tue, May 16, 2017 - Page 4 News List

About one in three adults do not take blood pressure

By Lin Yen-tung

Thirty percent of Taiwanese above the age of 18 do not regularly check their blood pressure, medical experts said.

A healthy person’s blood pressure should be within the range of 140/90 mmHg (systolic/diastolic pressure), they added, urging people with high blood pressure to seek medical help.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is common in Taiwan, according to Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics, which showed that one in 4.6 deaths in the nation were caused by conditions related to hypertension, such as heart attacks and cerebrovascular diseases.

People used to assume that only older people experience hypertension, National Taiwan University Hospital cardiologist and Taiwan Hypertension Society secretary-general Wang Tsung-tao (王宗道) said.

However, with changing dietary habits and lifestyles, such as eating food high in fats and staying up late, more young people have started developing high blood pressure, he said.

People with high blood pressure initially show no obvious symptoms, Wang said.

Young patients often seek medical help only after having a stroke, Wang said, adding that it is critical that people regularly measure their blood pressure to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

The American Board of Preventive Medicine suggests that people above 18 should have their blood pressure measured at least once every year.

Health Promotion Administration Deputy Director-General Chen Jun-chiu (陳潤秋) advised people to measure their blood pressure twice a day — in the morning and in the evening — and repeat the measurement after a week to obtain an average figure.

While measuring, people should avoid talking or shaking their legs, she said.

To mark World Hypertension Day tomorrow, the health agency — along with the Taiwan Hypertension Society, the Pharmacists Association and the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation — is to set up 3,000 stations to measure blood pressure for free at pharmacies, 7-Eleven convenience stores, Cosmed stores and regional hospitals nationwide.

People should avoid consuming too much oil and seasoning, and keep their daily sodium intake below 2.4g, which is equivalent to 6g of salt, Wang said, adding that people should exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.

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