Cigarette Smoking (photo grabbed from cloudnine.hillarymilesproductions.com)

Tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it kills nearly six million people each year. Most of them are users or ex-users of tobacco and more than 600,000 of them die due to exposure to second-hand smoke.

The consequences of poisoning from tobacco smoking happen gradually. Over the long term, smoking leads people to develop health problems like heart disease, stroke, emphysema (breakdown of lung tissue), and many types of cancer.

 
Dr. Margaret Chan appointed for second term as WHO Director-General. (photo source:WHO)

“Universal health coverage is the ultimate expression of fairness,” stressed Dr. Margaret Chan in her acceptance speech for her second five-year term as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) during the World Health Assembly last May 23, 2012.

“21 percent of Filipino adults are hypertensive,” said Dr. Dante Morales, President of the Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH) during the National Hypertension Awareness celebration conducted at the Universidad De Manila on 19 May 2012.

Hypertension is considered as the biggest single risk factor for deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension causes 7 million deaths every year while 1.5 billion people suffer due to its complications.

 
Dr. Nemencio A. Nicodemus, Jr., Director of PSEM educates the public during the 3rd National Hypertension Awareness Month celebration

Are you at risk of hypertension?

According to Dr. Nemencio A. Nicodemus, Jr., Director of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (PSEM), there are ideal heart-healthy numbers for the body to be maintained to prevent hypertension.

“Stage one hypertension occurs when an individual obtained a blood pressure of 140 over 90. Even if you are a teenager and you reached that certain level, you are already hypertensive. Normal blood pressure should be 120 over 70 and below,” he explained.

“Salt intake should not exceed two grams per day,” said Dr. Gabriel Jasul Jr., President of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism during the 3rd National Hypertension Awareness celebration held at Universidad de Manila on 19 May 2012.