Here we discuss the High Blood Pressure causes in Africa where the figures are rising very fast. The causes do not seem to be any different from the usual causes found elsewhere.
Every extra serving of sugary breverages will daily lead to an increase of systolic blood pressure of 1.6 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) and an increase of diastolic blood pressure of .8 mm Hg - Ian Brown of Imperial College London and colleagues.
Various studies have shown that hypertension prevalence in Africa is high and that it could be approaching the rates in the industrial countries. Studies also show that the main causes of hypertension in the developed countries are the same as those in Africa, though there are a few disparities.
High blood pressure higher in urban areas
Studies done in Africa regarding hypertension prevalence show that indeed hypertension is more rampant in the urban areas as compared to the rural areas. The average prevalence rates are 7% among rural dwellers as compared to up to 16% for the urban poor and 26% for the salaried urbanites.
Migrants from the rural African regions to the urban areas have been shown to increase their systolic blood pressure within a relatively short period of time. Though there is no conclusive data about the blood pressure changes that movement to the urban settings brings, it is widely feared that there could be more to this short time increase in blood pressure among migrants than just dietary changes.
Lack of awareness
Lack of awareness is amongst the leading of high blood pressure causes in Africa. While people in the west know about their blood pressure condition, this information is hardly sought in Africa. Research has shown that only one in four people with mild hypertension and only two out of five people with moderate hypertension are aware of their condition in Africa. It is also noted that only one in three Africans suffering from severe hypertension is aware of his condition.
This lack of awareness means that corrective measures which could be carried out to remedy the situation are never carried out until it is too late.
Other causes of hypertension in Africa which are similar to those in the developed countries include family history of hypertension, alcohol intake, obesity, excess salt intake, physical inactivity and advancing age.
Family history of high blood pressure
About 50% of patients suffering from high blood pressure are known to have some family history of hypertension. When you are aware of such a history, you need to be more careful than people without such a history. It would therefore be prudent to completely avoid the activities that cause hypertension such as alcohol consumption and high salt intake as this could easily lead to severe high blood pressure.
Advancing age is another cause of high blood pressure in Africa. Improved health facilities and economic advancements in some countries (for example South Africa) have led to increased life expectancy. After the age of 50, the systolic blood pressure is known to increase consistently thus increasing one’s chances of getting hypertension. Physical inactivity also causes high blood pressure.
Fat and Salt intake
Some of the two biggest culprits for high blood pressure in Africa are high fat and salt intake. The obesity that is becoming common in African cities is directly related to the high fat foods served in urban eateries and the attendant big amounts of sodium.
The above mentioned factors are amongst the leading high blood pressure causes in Africa. It does not seem to be very different from the causes elsewhere in the world
Lack of Exercise
It is thus important for those with any form of hypertension to do cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, walking and cycling. This is the single most important factor to help overcome high blood pressure.
City Life and High Blood Pressure
German researchers who studied a group of 5000 city dwellers and have found that, long term exposure to pollution, can be one of the high blood pressure causes. This could be the downside of city life anywhere in the world. In the end, the causes of high blood pressure are more or less the same, no matter where you come from.
High Blood Pressure Help
Los Angeles Times Article on the effects of sugary drinks.