Socio-economic factors to be considered when addressing hypertension risk factors: Researchers

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Researchers at the Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine say the government’s interventions in addressing the risk factors for hypertension must focus on the underlying socio-economic conditions in the country.

The focus on the serious medical condition comes after World Hypertension Day which was observed on Wednesday.

Research psychologist, Lynn Hendricks, says people with hypertension and diabetes have a greater chance of suffering from heart disease.

“There’s a high prevalence risk factor for these conditions such as unhealthy diets, alcohol consumption tobacco use. The affordability of food is problematic, especially healthy food and there’s inadequate healthcare infrastructure. So, when we work on policies and programmes, these must be considered.”

Hypertension in young people 

Healthcare experts have since called on young South Africans to get tested for hypertension. According to the International Society for Hypertension, nearly 50% of people over the age of 15 have high blood pressure.

It says only 50% are aware that they have hypertension, leaving the rest undiagnosed.

PODCAST | Expert calls for youth to test for hypertension: