Hypertension is a type of heart disease that affects people of all age, race, and sex. It is however most commonly seen in men over the age of 40 years. With a prevalence of nearly 20% of the American population (meaning hypertensive affects approximately 50 million people), it is a very common condition and a dangerous one.

Some of the risk factors for hypertension are as follows:

  • Obesity
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Family history of hypertension
  • Excessive stress
  • Intake of too much salt (sodium)
  • Alcohol and Smoking

In identifying these risk factors for you, it is hoped that you will ensure that if you or your friends or relatives have any of the above risks, then you will seek to adjust them or help your loved one to do the same. The reason for this is simple: HYPERTENSION IS NOT AN INDIVIDUAL DISEASE! Now this of course is a bold statement and rightly so it is meant to be. Now, just follow my thoughts here for a second and let me take you through an example of the social effects of Hypertension.

Let us assume that you are married with three kids aged 15 yrs., 12 yrs., And 6 yrs. Your spouse is aged 48 yrs. and doing well in his / her chosen career. Your spouse has hypertension, does not take medications, has some risk factors, but appears to be doing very well with no symptoms or complaints. As a result you do not think much of your spouse's illness.

Unfortunately, your spouse was very stressed at work one day and had a Stroke! Everything has now changed: Your spouse no longer speaks, is unable to move unassisted, and requires the constant care that an infant would. Your salary is now the only salary maintaining the home and has to be distributed across Medical Bills, mortgage, car payments, and possibly a student loan you have.

Now with the above scenario, are the children still able to continue in Private School as you had intended? Would you be able to service the mortgage and keep your house? Are you able to make all the car payments? And then you ask yourself, is this the life I wanted for my spouse, for my children, and for myself. How could Hypertension have taken it all away? The simple answer is we left it unchecked, and we thought it was “just a disease our spouse had.”

You must always consider the social ramifications of Hypertension and never feel that the person who is suffering from the disease is the only one to be affected by its ill effects. Hypertension is one of the leading causes of kidney failure, heart failure, stroke, and heart attacks. Encourage those you know to take care …, You too will benefit.