THE CORRELATION BETWEEN WEIGHT AND BLOOD PRESSURE OF PATIENTS WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IN NIGERIA

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Hypertension which is also known as high blood pressure is a chronic medical condition in which there is a sustained elevation in the blood pressure in the arteries of an individual above levels considered normal for the individual’s age, sex, race, body size etc. It implies that there has to be a reference value for an individual which is set arbitrarily based on the above mentioned biosocial indices, in other words there are various classifications for the diagnosis of hypertension which actually erupted as a result of different studies by various research groups and which became adopted by the World Health Organization (W.H.O).  Hypertension is a blood pressure of 140/90mmhg or more based on at least two separate readings on separate occasions (Mlunde, 2007). The American Heart Association, (2003) graded blood pressure as follows; normal, high normal, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3, high blood pressure (hypertension).

In the 18th century, the health burden was on communicable diseases, and hypertension was not of interest then. Now with the epidemiological transition from communicable to non communicable diseases, hypertension has been recorded as the major type of cardiovascular disease with attendant complications. Hypertension rarely has symptoms therefore one-third of the people affected do not know they have the disease; as such it is called “The silent Killer”. Pathophysiology of high blood pressure reveals that the blood pressure at any time is determined by the cardiac output and the peripheral resistance (Blood Pressure = Cardiac Output x Peripheral resistance) (Uzoma, 2010). Hypertension is therefore associated with conditions affecting these two factors such as increased peripheral resistance, fluid and water retention and high rennin secretion in some cases (Uzoma, 2010).

The works of Bharati et al, (2012), indicated that in India, hypertension is the commonest cardiovascular disease, posing a major public health issue, and more prevalent in urban areas due to urbanization, lifestyle, diet, stress and the overall socio-economic and epidemiological transition than those in the rural areas.

Although the exact cause of hypertension is yet unknown, but it is believed that age, genetic factors and lifestyles such as dietary salt, adiposity, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle and mental stress are possible risk factors that predisposes people to hypertension. Hypertension is a chronic medical condition that often leads to complications such as coronary and renal failure, peripheral vascular disease, retinal hemorrhage and visual impairment amongst others.

The prevalence of hypertension is high in both men and women, and it is not only a concern of the urban population alone but also an issue for rural populations. Furthermore, in other to reduce this burden in Nigeria at large, it is important to have detailed up to date information on the prevalence of hypertension in order to match this with available resources.

It is in view of the foregoing development, the researcher is interested in carrying out this work in other to explore the magnitude of the problem of hypertension and to obtain specific knowledge on the level of Relationship between weight and blood pressure of patients with high blood pressure (case study of ussa local government area of Taraba state, Nigeria).

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