By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
As part of a broader recognition of the country’s extremely high incidence of pulmonary hypertension disease (HP), the first-ever National Pulmonary Hypertension Week will be held by the Mexican Association of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (HAP México, a nonprofit coalition of hypertension patients) starting on Wednesday, May 5.
Currently, hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects about 40 percent of Mexicans over age 20, and it is the Number One risk factor for mortality among men, according to experts at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP). Moreover, the INSP reports that that rate is growing at 1.5 percent per annum, which means that in about seven years, half of the adult population will have the disease.
Pulmonary Hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart.
Mexico’s National Pulmonary Hypertension Week, which is being sponsored by Bayer de México, will be a joint effort between doctors, patients and associations aimed at promoting awareness and better access to treatments, HAP announced in a video press conference on Tuesday, May 4.
According to HAP, patients with with HP without treatment can face a fatal outcome in a period of just two or three years.
The week will include a HAP discussion in the Mexican Senate on the effects of pulmonary hypertension led by Alejandra Reynoso of the Senate Health Commission on Friday, May 7. The week will also include a patient forum which will be broadcast through the HAP Facebook on Wednesday, May 5, at 4 p.m.
Hypertension, which is marked by abnormally high blood-pressure readings, can lead to a number of secondary health problems, including atherosclerosis, kidney failure, vision deterioration and stroke.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to high blood pressure, including age and a family history of the disease, but in about 70 percent of cases, patients can prevent hypertension simply by modifying their diet and exercise regiments.
In many cases, hypertension goes hand-in-hand with other conditions tied to sedentary lifestyles and poor dietary practices, such as obesity and diabetes.
According to the Mexican Public Health Secretariat, overweight patients are 400 percent more likely to suffer from hypertension than are people in the normal weight range. According to government statistics, about seven in every 10 Mexicans are overweight.