Young adults at risk of high blood pressure

National 1 minute, 50 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MORE young adults are at risk of high blood pressure, said a Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) lecturer yesterday.

Dr Nik Ani Afiqah Hj Mohamad Tuah said the prevalence of hypertension has changed over the years, with high blood pressure patients getting younger.

“There is no doubt that hypertension is high among our population, but the trend now is a bit different.

Hypertension has been diagnosed among younger adults from 25 years old onwards. This is a different pattern and we need to stop it,” she added.

The lecturer was speaking on the sidelines of a Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Workshop held at UBD’s Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS) yesterday.

It was previously reported in August last year that a preliminary study in Brunei has shown that 20 per cent of Bruneians aged 20 and above have high blood pressure.

The door-to-door survey that involved more than 5,000 respondents four years ago also found that 50 per cent of people aged 50 have hypertension.

Dr Nik attributed the increase in patients with hypertension to globalisation and poor diet.

“Food plays a role in the disease, for NCDs there are genetically contributions but the most important thing as well is the environmental factor. When one consumes food that are high in salt, it may also cause hypertension. Hypertension doesn’t usually develop at a young age, usually it occurs in the later stage (40 and above) but now the trend is getting younger because of obesity issues,” she continued.

Dr Nik said behavioural and mindset change are vital in changing the trend of high blood pressure patients.

High blood pressure, especially when it leads to stroke, not only affects the patient but will also have a huge impact emotionally on family members.

Speaking from experience Dr Nik, whose father was a victim of stroke, said it was the most painful moment of her life. Seeing a family member so helpless made her feel helpless as well.

“Health is everyone’s business and we need to inculcate healthy living and ownership from young. If they know how to live healthily, and be active we can prevent a lot of obesity issues and NCDs,” she added.

The Brunei Times