Journal Medico – HTA: Risk factors for the leading cause of death in Portugal

Journal Medico – HTA: Risk factors for the leading cause of death in Portugal

The consequences of cardio and cerebrovascular disease and arterial hypertension (HTA) are associated with an increasing number of hospitalizations and a decrease in hope and quality of life. In this regard, read the opinion of Fernando Pinto, Senior Graduate Assistant in Cardiology at Centro Hospitalor de Entre o Douro e Vuga (CHEDV) and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Portuguese Stroke Society.

Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) are the leading causes of death, premature death (i.e. before age 70) and disability. Cerebrovascular trauma (CVA) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) account for about 85% of all CVDs.

In our country, CVDs are responsible for more than 32,000 deaths each year and it is estimated that they can shorten life expectancy by 12-14 years. In addition, DCCVs are responsible for a large number of hospital admissions and are the most important reason for disability and dependence on others for daily basic activities (eating, dressing, personal hygiene, etc.).

Arterial hypertension (HTA), defined as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg, is the main risk factor for stroke (the leading cause of death in Portugal: 2/3 of stroke deaths) CVD. ) And AMI, heart failure, renal failure, peripheral artery disease, dementia etc. Is one of the most important risk factors for.

In the majority of patients, hypertension does not cause specific symptoms for many years, most often detected only when the above-mentioned diseases appear, and it is well established that early diagnosis and appropriate and timely treatment of hypertension significantly reduces the risk. (And the severity of CVDs and their serious consequences: disability and mortality.

Especially in the last two decades, despite the very favorable evolution of CVD in Portugal, we are verifying that about 42% of adults have high blood pressure, of which about 25% (1 in 4) are unaware. About 25% of people diagnosed with the disease do not take medication, which indicates that less than half of patients with hypertension have their blood pressure actually controlled, and only 12% (1 in 8) have their blood pressure within ideal values.

What’s left to do?
In order to achieve the ultimate goal of increasing years of life and quality of life, that is, to prevent the effects of CVD, and in particular to reduce the dramatic consequences of stroke, it is important to diagnose hypertension more and better. Start treatment quickly. Remedies to treat it include adopting a healthy lifestyle from the beginning, reducing salt and alcohol intake and increasing vegetables and fruits, practicing regular physical exercise, improving any excess weight or obesity, and total smoking cessation. When these remedies are inadequate, antihypertensive medications may also need to be used.

Over the last 2 years, in most cases, access to health care has become more difficult for the population that has been (and still is …) focused on the epidemic that plagued us. Contributing to the cure / reduction of this delay is up to all of us – users / patients, health professionals and not so much – contributing to the cure / reduction of this delay, which can have serious consequences in the medium term: Regularly measuring previous blood pressure (which numerous Can be done at times (places, even at home) and, in case of high blood pressure, try to seek health care as soon as possible, but immediately start correcting inappropriate lifestyle; Healthcare professionals actively encourage patients to monitor their blood pressure, which makes it easier for them to take care of themselves and without undue delay in improving high blood pressure (as well as any risk factors).

Scientific societies, in partnership with the media, should make the general public aware of the importance of these measures, and it is up to the political power and the state to outline and implement concrete measures to accelerate this mission, which is possible through commitment. All!


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