By Ikenna Osuoha
Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older People in Nigeria (COSROPIN) has urged older people to always check their blood pressure for long life.
The President of the coalition, Sen. Eze Ajoku, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja in commemoration of the World Hypertension Day (WHD), annually marked on May 17 around the world.
NAN reports that the aim of the WHD is to raise awareness about the silent killer disease and this year, it has “Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer” as its theme.
Ajoku then described hypertension as not just a silent killer but a major cause of stroke, kidney damage and sudden death, especially among older people.
He said “hypertension is one of the major underlying morbidities in older people which has remained a major cause of sudden death otherwise called silent killer.
“Accurate and regular blood pressure checks, taking hypertension drugs daily, exercising and relaxation will go a long way in preventing sudden death.
“Many people diagnosed as hypertensive stop their medication without doctor’s recommendation, allowing complications to develop. Some take a lot of salt and other salt derivatives like Maggie cubes, which are known to increase the blood pressure.
“Others allow anger, unforgiveness and stress to raise their pressures. Older persons with hypertension must find occasions to relax, laugh and exercise.
“Good sleep occasionally with relaxant will also help to control hypertension.”
The coalition boss advised older persons to check their blood pressure whenever they have persistent headache.
“They should avoid panic when their pressures are high but reach out to their doctors and family members. Panic will increase the pressure.”
He stressed the need for older people to cultivate a routine medical check up to avert sudden death, saying “older persons should have blood pressure monitors at home. You can call your doctor who will advise based on the monitors reading if you cannot get to the hospital.
“Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when the blood pressure rises to an unhealthy level; it develops over the years.
“Narrow arteries cause more resistance and increase blood pressure. This force can cause damage to blood vessels and lead to heart attack, brain stroke, kidney damage, or nerve damage.”
He explained that the key to longer and healthy life was routine medical checks and regular taking of recommended drugs, especially for older people. (NAN)