The prevalence of hypertension in Puerto Rico is 66%, two thirds of adults will be affected by this condition.
Dr. Miguel Magraner, Internist and Director of Internal Medicine at Hospital Damas. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.
In an interview with the Journal of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Miguel Magraner, Internist and Director of Internal Medicine at Hospital Damas, explained that high pressure by definition is 140/90 or higher, however, he emphasized that there is a second higher definition of 130/80. In this case, the doctor is the one who will define its level, so it is recommended to try both estimates to avoid complications such as: cerebrovascular diseases, heart attack, stroke and kidney damage.
“There are epidemiological studies that tell us that the patient has an important role in his treatment, not only modifying his lifestyle, but also being consistent in taking his medications. There are studies that indicate that 50% of patients forget to take their medication,” she emphasized.
From the age of 18, blood pressure should be measured once a year, in order to identify hypertension in time, however, the expert emphasizes the importance of individualizing treatment, “not everyone requires a pill ”.
In the same way, it is crucial that the prescribed medications are individualized according to other conditions that each patient previously has, for which the internist calls on patients to use only their medication and not that of other people who may also suffer. of high blood pressure.
“It is a disease that everyone in our primary medicine practice sees every day”, for which it is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle, go to the primary doctor if necessary and measure the pressure on consecutive days, and if possible , keep track. Once the patient is diagnosed with hypertension, it is essential that the pressure be monitored once a week, day and night, because thanks to this record, the doctor will be able to modify the medication if necessary.
Similarly, the specialist was emphatic in emphasizing that before medicating a patient, a change must first be made in the lifestyle with habits healthy, such as:
avoid high fat food;
lower the amount of salt;
implement a Mediterranean diet;
exercise and walk.
However, it is crucial that before jogging, the patient consults with their primary care physician first.
“There is data that says that 66% of patients require 3 medications, so don’t be scared, if your doctor prescribes two or three medications, these are necessary to control pressure,” explained the specialist. Some of these medicines are accessible, since they are not expensive and are on the market
Between the main risk factors found: obesity, alcohol and cigarettes are causes that affect hypertension. However, the specialist stated “95% of hypertensive patients just because, they are called essential hypertensives”. Essential hypertension is one of the most important modifiable conditions, either through medication or treatment.
High blood pressure in other patients can be caused by medications, birth control pills, sleep apnea, hyperthyroidism, being overweight, hypothyroidism, and adrenal tumors, among others.
Internists and good general practitioners can manage stress properly, “you shouldn’t refer to a cardiologist from the start, that’s a possibly wrong myth,” he commented. In the event that the hypertension is severe, it should be referred to nephrologists, since part of the mechanism of hypertension is associated with the kidney.
diabetes and hypertension
A patient suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure is more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, so it is recommended to keep both conditions under control. Metabolic syndrome is essential to maintain a good quality of life and avoid complications.
Mental health and hypertension
Anxiety or anguish in patients with hypertension can result in an increase in numbers, for which it is recommended to do breathing exercises, attend psychological therapy if necessary, seek support from friends and go for a walk, among others. others.
See the full program: