By Doris Obinna
A professor of medicine has said hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when the blood pressure rises to an unhealthy level. He added that obesity is a contributing factor to hypertension. Obesity, he said, is linked to salt sensitivity and high circulating aldosterone levels that directly correlate with blood pressure (BP) level.
Speaking in a Zoom meeting organised by Neimeth International Pharmacueticals Plc, to commemorate the 2021 World Hypertension Day, consultant physician/cardiologist, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Prof. Simeon Isezuo, explained that there is direct correlation between BP level and salt sensitivity, “In other words, salt-sensitive individuals tend to have more complications particularly thinnest organ involvement from hypertension.”
He said this is why Africans and people of African descent tend to have more morbidity in terms of heart failure from hypertension than whites and other races.
According to him, the black population tends towards more salt intake, which is why obesity is more common in blacks, especially in women.
“Blacks tend to have earlier onset of hypertension because of salt sensitivity and also poorer outcome from hypertension compared to whites. Most women with salt sensitivity tend to suffer premature death. Obesity is linked to salt sensitivity and high circulating aldosterone levels that directly correlate with BP level,” he said.
On why pharmaceutical care is important for hypertensive patients, deputy director, Obstetrics & Gynecology Department, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Dr. Nwamaka Cookey-Gam, disclosed that prevalence of the disease burden was high in the society as only known interventions would improve outcomes.
While noting that hypertension is a chronic condition and a high BP damages major organs, the doctor added that, in addition to lifestyle modifications, medication is life-long.
She advised that medications should be taken the same time daily, preferably in the evening.
“Diuretics to be taken in the morning to avoid nocturnal diuresis. Co-administration of orthodox and herbal preps are discouraged,” she said.
On his part, product manager, Neimeth, Charles Ekokotu, on treatment of hypertension, stated that, although thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics are indispensable drugs in the treatment of hypertension, their role as first-line or even second-line drugs is provoking a debate.
He said: “Thiazide-type diuretics are at least as effective as b-blockers, calcium antagonists, and ACE inhibitors in reducing CV outcomes are particularly effective in preventing stroke and HF in hypertensive patients. These drugs are very effective in the elderly and very elderly patients. Combination of thiazide-like diuretics with aldosterone antagonists may be worthwhile.”