high-blood-pressure-300x199A health official is highlighting the prevalence of High Blood Pressure, referred to as the silent killer, among young people.

Nurse Sylvia Julien has said High Blood Pressure not only affects older persons, “but the young as well.”

And according to her, as persons grow older their risk of developing high blood pressure increases.

Nurse Julien made this statement recently while representing the Hypertension group at the start of an annual Health Fair held at the Dominica State College (DSC).

“What we have seen in the health sector, previously the older people would come down with high blood pressure, but now we have 14 and 16 year olds who are coming down with High Blood Pressure,” she said.

According to Nurse Julien, women may be seen as being more at risk in developing High Blood Pressure.

“I guess probably stress is related to High Blood Pressure, maybe women are more stressed  doing all the work at home, managing the family; so that could be an issue.”

She said family history is one of the contributors to people developing High Blood Pressure. “So if your mother or your father or your grandfather had high blood pressure then you are at greater risk of developing the disease,” Nurse Julien explained.

She said socio-economic factors can also increase one’s risk of developing the disease.

“Because our diet, if our socio-economic is low, we are not able to purchase the correct foods then we are at risk of developing,” she explained. “If we have a diet which is high in sodium, high in salt, this puts us at risk for developing High Blood Pressure.”

She added, “Also lack of activity, the body becomes obese…all these are risk factors for developing High Blood Pressure.”

She encourages persons to decrease the amount of salt and fats taken in to their diet and increase physical activities, while leaving a life that is less stressful.

She also appealed to college students to have their blood pressure checked. “Take charge of our lifestyle, avoid smoking, alcohol use, limit our intake of alcohol or avoid alcohol use. Get active and watch what you eat.”