Blood pressure awareness campaign launched in Lebanon

Campaign's key aim is to raise awareness of the risks of high blood pressure amongst those who may not consider themselves at risk.

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By  David Ingham Published  March 15, 2006

Novartis has backed a campaign in Lebanon designed to raise awareness of high blood pressure. Throughout February, the ‘Healthy Heart’ program saw clinics across Lebanon offering blood pressure and cholesterol screening services and general advice to the public. “It is worrying that most people tend to associate high blood pressure and heart attacks with the older generation in Lebanon,” said Dr. George Ghanem, head of the cardiology department at Rizk Hospital, and president of the Lebanese Society of Cardiology. “But the truth is that many middle aged people are at risk of heart attack brought on by hypertension simply due to the age factor, plus one or more risk factors.” One of the key aims of the campaign is to raise awareness of the risks of high blood pressure amongst those who may not consider themselves at risk. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can result in heart and kidney damage, causing stroke, heart attack, heart failure and other serious problems. To support the campaign, a special ‘Healthy Heart Lifestyle’ booklet has been developed. It offers a selection of recipes, cardiovascular workout tips and a range of advice. The booklet will be available free of charge at all participating clinics, along with a number of information leaflets on the issue of hypertension. The campaign also aims offers reassurance and advice for people currently taking medication for hypertension. While there is no outright cure for high blood pressure, it can be controlled effectively and its impact on people’s lifestyles can be reduced significantly by following a physician’s advice. Patients seeking to control blood pressure should aim to lose weight (losing about 9kgs can drop your blood pressure by between 5-20 mm Hg), do exercise, stop smoking, reduce salt intake and take medication as prescribed.

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