A World Health Organization (WHO) study which uncovered that Africa has the highest rate of high blood pressure in the world, predicted massive death for the continent.
According to the study, about 46% of adults in Africa have high blood pressure problem. And, increasing urbanization and unhealthy lifestyles are the major factors thriving the condition.
Adding that high blood pressure is a silent killer and often detected too late, it was indicated that its rate in Africa is alarming as the global average for the number of people suffering from the condition is about 40%.
Abdikamal Alisalad, the report’s author remarked that the rate of unhealthy habits in many African nations are shocking.
“We were surprised because we thought we would not see this kind of situation currently. We were expecting it maybe 30 or 40 years from now,” he said.
“People are moving from the rural areas, going to urban, metropolitan areas,” Alisalad added as he blamed the increase in non-communicable diseases to changes in Africa’s developing societies.
With the above, the report warned that if lifestyles do not change in Africa, more Africans could die from chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer, than infectious disease by 2030.
Out of the 34 African countries the study surveyed, Ghana, Nigeria, Seychelles, Cape Verde and Sao Tome were associated with the highest prevalence rate of high blood pressure.
According to experts, high blood pressure is regarded as a “silent killer” because it may not produce any symptoms, even if you have had it for years.
It was once estimated that 1 out of every 5 people with high blood pressure don’t know they have it. However, symptoms of high blood pressure may be present in those who have an extremely high blood pressure.
The symptoms include the following:
- Severe headaches;
- Fatigue and vision problems;
- Chest pain;
- Difficulty breathing and irregular heartbeat;
- Blood in the urine;
- Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears.
Adding potassium to the diet is beneficial as studies have associated people who consume more potassium to lower blood pressures.
Oranges, bananas, melons and spinach are some of the good sources of potassium.