Hypertension! Brain damage?
Smoking gun for strokes?

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dr. Eka Harmeiwaty, Sp.S
dr. Eka Harmeiwaty, Sp.S (Source: HARAPAN KITA HOSPITAL)

Jakarta, IO – Hypertension is a chronic, incurable medical condition. WHO 2021 survey reports that 1.4 billion of the world’s 30-79 year old population live with hypertension. Ironically, 46% of sufferers are unaware that they have hypertension, 46% take medication for it, but only 21% are able to gain control of their blood pressure level. Here at home, our Baseline Health Research 2013 data claims that 25.8% of Indonesian adults suffer from hypertension, a figure rising to 34.31% in 2018. A survey from the Indonesian Specialist of Hypertension Association (Ina-SH) shows that, out of the 34.31% of the population who suffer from hypertension, only one out of three cases is correctly diagnosed – that’s 8.8%. Of those individuals diagnosed, 13.3% fail to take medication, while 32.2% take their medication sporadically. 

Hypertension patients are generally unaware that they suffer from the condition, because it is usually accompanied with comorbidities such as heart trouble, kidney failure, peripheral artery disease, blindness or stroke. For this very reason, it is nicknamed “the silent killer”. Even worse, many people only discovered that they suffer from hypertension when they were checked during mandatory Government Covid-19 vaccination, over the past two years. 

In the “Beware of How Hypertension Damages the Brain” media meet held on Wednesday (31/8/2022), dr. Eka Harmeiwaty, Sp.S., Harapan Kita Heart and Blood Vessel Hospital’s nervous system specialist, reported that hypertension becomes a major risk factor for the onset of a stroke: “Hypertension damages the endothelial cells and obstructs the function of the blood vessel wall muscles, causing veins and arteries to be obstructed in turn. If they are located in the brain, these obstructed arteries might result in a stroke. Damage to endothelial cells also causes arterial blood vessel walls to thin out, which in turn makes the artery brittle and easy to break – and result in a stroke. Hypertension and stroke are also found in productive age patients. Make efforts to control your blood pressure, to prevent a stroke from happening. Each 2 mmHg increase in systolic pressure will raise the risk of stroke by 10%. On the contrary, a 10-point decrease will lower risk of stroke by 27% or prevent a repeat event.”