(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The incidence of high BP, regarded as the "silent killer" is on the rise in Oman, mainly because of people's poor dietary habits and lack of exercise, and experts are calling for immediate steps to curb the trend.
The plea came as the sultanate joined rest of the international community in marking "World Hypertension Day"' on Tuesday.
The latest figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate the prevalence of the disease in Oman at 33 per cent, well above the world average of between 25 and 30 per cent. WHO warns that the rate could double to 50-60 per cent by 2025.
Heart specialists in Oman, describing the situation "worrisome'" stressed the need for patients to go for regular check-ups and proper medication to ensure that they keep their blood pressure at the recommended target level of 140/90 mmHg.
"In accordance with the approved international medical standards blood pressure should be maintained within the targeted levels by the use of proper medicines coupled with changes in the daily lifestyle to avoid the occurrence of heart attack, stroke or even kidney failure" Dr Said Al Hinai, Deputy Director and Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Diwan Medical Services, said.
He noted that the incidence of hypertension was not reducing in Oman and was noticeably higher than the global average.
"We need to educate patients on the 'silent killer'' nature of hypertension and the need for compliance with their prescribed medication. Many sufferers discontinue medication after they complain of not feeling any different, something we need to address with regular reviews," he said, adding: "This is why education and screening are so vital to reducing the statistic. The benefits of medication and lifestyle modification need to be directly communicated to patients and the public, in order to diagnose and treat hypertension as early and effectively as possible."
Doctors attribute the high prevalence of the disease in the sultanate to unhealthy lifestyle, poor nutrition habits and lack of exercise. The disease, they sayd, has no obvious symptoms.