• World Health Day
Apr 04, 2013
World Health Day
Let's fight against high blood pressure 

Wendake, Thursday, April 4, 2013 –
The next World Health Day, which will take place
on April 7th, will be devoted to high blood pressure. The World Health Organisation
(WHO) has chosen this theme because today it concerns one out of every three adults,
which represents approximately one billion people worldwide.

A few numbers among the First Nations…

High blood pressure is at the top of the list in terms of health problems that are most
commonly diagnosed among First Nations women and men. The results of the 2008
First Nations of Quebec Regional Health Survey (RHS) reveal that:

• 23% of First Nations adults declared that they were suffering from high blood
pressure; this rate is one-and-a-half times higher than the prevalence of high
blood pressure among the population of Quebec (14%);
• Among those ages 35-54 years, one out of every four adults (26%) suffers from
high blood pressure;
• Among those 65 years and up, this condition affects one out of every two
individuals (50%).

The results of the 2002 RHS demonstrated that the proportion of adults who declared
suffering from high blood pressure was 18%. We can therefore see a significant increase
(5%) in the prevalence of high blood pressure between 2002 and 2008.

In this context, the First Nations must be made aware of the types of actions that can be
taken in order to reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is not benign!

In fact, it can be responsible for increasing the risks associated with heart attacks,
strokes and kidney failure. If left untreated, it can also cause blindness.

High blood pressure is both avoidable and treatable

It is vital to make prevention efforts such as:
• Reducing salt intake;
• Eating a balanced diet;
• Favouring, when possible, the consumption of traditional foods;
• Limiting the consumption of alcohol and tobacco;
• Practicing physical activities on a regular basis.

All day long on April 7th and afterwards as well, you are therefore encouraged to raise
awareness among the members of your community regarding the causes and
consequences of high blood pressure, but also the need to monitor their blood pressure
on a regular basis. Keep in mind that those who are afflicted with diabetes are more
likely to develop high blood pressure!

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Source: Chantal Cleary, Communication Officer
First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
Health and Social Services Commission
Tel.: 418-842-1540