NUTRITION CORNER: 50 percent of Pinoy senior citizens are hypertensive

Based on the results of the 7th National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) in 2008, hypertension was found to be common among the elderly, affecting about 5 in every 10.

Most elderly with elevated high blood pressure have the so called “isolated” hypertension, a common form of hypertension among elderly.

Isolated hypertension is defined as systolic BP above 140 mmHg and diastolic BP below 90 mmHg.

Isolated hypertension was evident among those 60 years and older in the recent FNRI-DOST survey, wherein the systolic BP increased rapidly while there was a decline in the diastolic BP towards that age group.

The FNRI-DOST survey further revealed that elderly people were 12 times more at-risk of developing hypertension compared to younger individuals based on the study led by Duante in 2001.

Comparing the prevalence of hypertension from 2003 to 2008, there was an increase in the proportion of elderly 60 – 69 years identified with hypertension from 45.8 percent in 2003 to 48.9% in 2008. The prevalence of hypertension among the 70 years and over elderly adults decreased from 56.0% in 2003 to 53.5% in 2008.

The report implies that elderly people need proper care and attention in as much as prevention is important to curtail the development of chronic degenerative diseases later in life.

Remember that prevention and treatment of hypertension can do more good than harm. (Eva Abille-Goyena/FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service)