Vietnamese warned about high hypertension risk

Friday, 2018-05-18 09:35:28
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Medical staff from Hanoi Heart Hospital and Dong Anh district’s Clinic check blood pressure for local people. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – Vietnam has about 12 million people who suffer from high blood pressure, heard a meeting in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district on May 17, aiming to raise public awareness on the long-term dangers of the medical condition.

The event was co-organised by the Hanoi Heart Hospital, Hanoi Heart Association, and Dong Anh district’s Clinic in response to the World Hypertension Day which falls on May 17 each year.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) data, in Vietnam, it is estimated that there are currently about 12 million hypertensive patients, meaning one in five adults has hypertension. The medical condition is a major cause of cerebrovascular accidents, myocardial infarctions, and heart and kidney failure, leaving thousands of people paralysed, disabled, or in poor health each year.

Notably, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Vietnam, accounting for 33% of all deaths across the country. Most people with hypertension have no symptoms and do not even know they are in trouble.

The Ministry of Health (MOH)’s survey in 2015 also found that 45% of men smoke and 77% of them drink alcohol, with nearly half drinking to excess. The salt intake of Vietnamese is twice as high as the WHO recommendation and about one third of the population lack regular physical activity. These are the main risks leading to hypertension, or making the disease progress to severe cardiovascular complications. In particular, among the 12 million people with hypertension, nearly 60% are undiagnosed and more than 80% have not been treated.

Deputy Director of Hanoi Heart Hospital, Dr. Vu Quynh Nga, said that high blood pressure is a chronic disease and progresses silently. If not detected and treated early, the disease will become more severe, causing serious cardiovascular complications, and treatment at that time will be very expensive. Meanwhile, early detection by regularly measuring blood pressure is a simple and inexpensive procedure.

With the approval of the MOH and Hanoi municipal Department of Health, the Hanoi Heart Hospital has organised training courses related to hypertension management and cardiovascular disease for local medical facilities in the capital city, and in several locales across the nation. From the beginning of 2018, around 500 doctors in local hospitals and medical centres have joined 20 training sessions, Dr. Nga said.

After the meeting, doctors from the Hanoi Heart Hospital and Dong Anh district’s Clinic offered free screenings and advice related to high blood pressure for 700 local people.