Hypertension also known as “High Blood Pressure“ is when the blood circulation in your body applies an increased amount of pressure against the walls of your blood vessels over an extended period of time. This causes the heart to work harder than it should due to the consistency of high pressure. It has been called the “Silent killer” because many individuals may suffer from the chronic condition without showing any symptoms before real damage is done. 

Here are ten key pointers everyone should know about Hypertension.

  1. Hypertension is diagnosed during your routine medical check-ups with your primary provider. However, it should be a staple of all preventative care services. Checking and understanding your blood pressure numbers can allow providers to recommend at home monitoring and/or initiate lifestyle modifications.

  2. Blood Pressure readings are taken with a cuff called a Sphygmomanometer. The American Heart Association considers a normal reading to be less than 120mmHg Systolic and Less than 80mmHg Diastolic. Readings higher than the mentioned may require additional diagnostic testing.

  3. There are four stages of Hypertension. Normal, prehypertension (mild), stage 1 (moderate) and stage 2 (severe). Treatment depends on which category your pressure consistently falls in when readings are taken. Therefore, it is essential to continuously monitor a hypertensive patient’s blood pressure. 

  4. There are no obvious symptoms of Hypertension. The condition has a hereditary component which increases the risk in some demographics. If your parents or a close relative has hypertension, you are more likely to also be hypertensive.

  5. The prevalence of Hypertension varies across regions and country income groups. The WHO African Region has the highest prevalence of hypertension (27%) while the WHO Region of the Americas has the lowest prevalence of hypertension (18%). In 2016,  38% of all deaths in The Gambia were caused by Non Communicable Diseases & Hypertension was the most prevalent.

  6. There is no set age for the onset of Hypertension. Although, age does contribute to elevated blood pressure readings, as well as additional risk factors. This is especially the case for patients taking medications to control their blood pressures that may have less aggressive goals as they age.

  7. There are a variety of lifestyle choices that count as risk factors for Hypertension. Choices we make such as lack of exercise, eating high sodium (salt) content food, being obese or overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol all increase ones risk for high blood pressure. Making a commitment to lifestyle modifications is a key component in the prevention and management of hypertension.

  8. Hypertension, when uncontrolled or undiagnosed can have serious health consequences. Signs & symptoms of a Hypertensive crisis include severe chest pain, nausea & vomiting, shortness of breath, severe headache, accompanied by confusion & blurred vision. These can lead to vision loss, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease or failure, sexual dysfunction and heart attack. All these life-threatening conditions are the main reason a low life-expectancy is seen in patients who are not managed properly.

  9. Our Assurance Care Plan is a subscription health management system designed for individuals with chronic conditions, like Hypertension. The Assurance Care Plan includes a Comprehensive Screening to assess the patient’s health, four prescription medications every month, free Doctor Consultations & monthly in-house visits from our Nurses, to ensure access to healthcare professionals; periodic diagnostic tests to assess improvements and additional benefits to guarantee efficiency and quality of care for each patient, from Banjul to Basse.

  10. There is no such thing as “Curing” hypertension. It starts with prevention. Knowing and staying on top of your numbers to decide which lifestyle modification (diet, exercise etc)  can be adopted. Once diagnosed, adherence to medication therapy is fundamental. Taking the right medication, prescribed by the right physician, dispensed by the right pharmacist forms the right partnerships with the patient to ensure they live a long and healthy life. 

Our Pharmacy’s RX 300 program offers monthly medications for NCDs for D300. Hypertensive patients consistently need medication to keep their condition under control. IGH makes quality prescription medication strictly from the US accessible and affordable. With a prescription note from a healthcare provider, patients can get 30 - 60 tablets for the month for only 300 Dalasis.


For more information, explore our Subscription Care Plans & products on the website or call us on +220 2866200 / +220 3866200

By: Ismail Badjie, PharmD

Source: American Health Association 

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