Measure your BP to manage hypertension

Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure exerted by the blood as it pushes against the walls of our arteries, which carry blood from our heart to other parts of our body. Our BP normally rises and falls throughout the day.

The normal BP for adult Filipinos is less than 120/80 mmHg, while 120-139/80-89 mmHg is borderline hypertension. BP of 140/90 mm Hg or above, typically taken in the doctor’s clinic at least twice on two separate days, is hypertension or more commonly known as high blood pressure.


Hypertension among Filipinos is on the rise

The PRESYON series of nationwide surveys conducted by the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) shows that the prevalence of hypertension among Filipinos has been progressively increasing since the 1990s. The latest survey PRESYON-4 conducted in 2021 revealed that almost 4 out of 10 Filipinos have hypertension.

Hypertension is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in the Philippines, with poor BP control as one of the main causes, according to the Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH). It is one of the major risk factors of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) which include ischemic heart disease (IHD). In IHD, the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle become narrow. When the blood flow to the heart muscle is completely blocked, the heart muscle cells die and a heart attack occurs.

Measure your BP

May is Hypertension Awareness Month, an annual celebration that aims to raise awareness on the prevention and management of high blood pressure. However, as a result of the rapidly growing burden of disease associated with the global increase in hypertension, the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) launched the May Measurement Month (MMM) global blood pressure screening awareness campaign in 2017.

Observed from May 1 to July 31, the MMM campaign aims to highlight the importance of measuring your BP and to raise awareness on the dangers posed by hypertension. Measuring your blood pressure is the only way to know whether you have hypertension. High blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have hypertension.

You can have your blood pressure measured:

  • By a health personnel at a doctor’s office.
  • At a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure measurement machine.
  • With a home blood pressure monitor that you can use yourself.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the single most important way to help prevent or manage hypertension:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Measure your BP regularly.
References: Accessed 22 April 2024,blood%20to%20the%20heart%20muscle. Accessed 22 April 2024 Accessed 22 April 2024 Accessed 22 April 2024 Accessed 22 April 2024 Accessed 22 April 2024,of%20stroke%20and%20heart%20attack. Accessed 22 April 2024

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