Hypertension: a silent killer
Hypertension is a chronic disease which is constantly on the increase throughout the world. It is now the leading cause of morbidity and mortality according to the World Health Organization. This disease, whose consequences can be severe, can be controlled well if detected early and treated appropriately.
The numbers given by your doctor are those of the pressure when the heart contracts and when the heart relaxes. They are given as millimetres of mercury and must not exceed 140 for the top number and 90 for the bottom number. When your doctor takes your blood pressure and announces 120/80, it means that all is well, your blood pressure is within normal limits.
Hypertension increases the risk of heart failure, myocardial infarction, obliterating arteriopathy of the lower limbs (narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the legs) and renal insufficiency.
A question of
No warning signs
We do not feel our blood as it continues to flow within our bodies. What is more, when blood pressure increases, we still do not experience any symptoms – at least not in the beginning – which is why regular blood pressure checks are essential. They are quick, painless and the result is given immediately. You also have the option to take your own blood pressure using a portable blood pressure monitor and discuss the readings with your doctor.
Multiple risk factors
While the factors that influence blood pressure differ, their consequences are the same. Blood pressure that is too high weakens and stiffens the arteries, promoting the development of plaque (cholesterol deposits on the artery walls). The convergence of these factors reduces the free circulation of blood flow and increases the work of the heart muscle which fights the arterial resistance. In hypertensive patients, the arteries are fragile and the heart is under additional strain.
For some risk factors, nothing can be done. Examples of these include age: 40% of 65-year-olds and 90% of 85-year-olds suffer from hypertension; family history – this doubles the risk of hypertension and can affect younger patients; and certain diseases or treatments which, indirectly, promote hypertension, such as renal insufficiency or hyperthyroidism.
4th world’s group and 2nd in Europe, Servier, has been involved in cardiovascular diseases for more than 60 years, and more particularly in hypertension, with medicines prescribed to several million patients worldwide. As the profiles of hypertensive patients are various, solutions are proposed to personalize treatments according to the patient and adapt them to the different stages of the disease.
With the aim of providing better support for patients who want to take fewer drugs on a daily basis, Servier is working on new combinations of molecules, in bi- or tri-therapy, which make it possible to combine the efficacy of several drugs in a single tablet or capsule. The Group is also developing “polypills”, which include, for example, an anti-hypertensive treatment and an anti-cholesterol treatment in the same tablet.
Applications and websites for monitoring treatment, providing information on dietary advice or exercises adapted to hypertension are available, which contribute to better patient support.
In that sense, the MyHealthPartner website, developed by Servier, also offers a wealth of certified information on chronic diseases such as hypertension, enabling patients to better understand their condition, associated risk factors and symptoms.
See your doctor regularlyAlthough effective medication exists, if hypertension is not detected it cannot be treated.
Take your medication as directedIf you are already on medication for hypertension, follow it carefully: this is known
as compliance and is essential for good control and successful treatment.
Trust your loved onesThey are best placed to spot the warning signs of hypertension and encourage you to stick to your treatment.