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Increase in High Blood Pressure Cases Reported in Sri Lanka, Says Health Ministry Official

Consultant Community Physician Dr. Sherine Balasingham from the Health Ministry’s Directorate of Non-Communicable Disease has disclosed that there has been a rise in the number of patients diagnosed with high blood pressure in Sri Lanka.

According to Dr. Balasingham, a recent survey conducted across all districts of the island among adults aged 18-69 years revealed that 35% of them are suffering from hypertension.

She also mentioned that globally, various programs are organized annually on May 17th to raise awareness about high blood pressure and during the third week of May to address salt intake issues.

Dr. Balasingham noted that a survey is conducted in Sri Lanka once every five years, and based on the statistics from the last survey conducted in 2021, 35% of the participants were found to have high blood pressure.

Additionally, she highlighted that while the recommended daily sodium intake for adults is 5 grams, the survey indicated that adults in Sri Lanka consume around 14.2 grams per day, which is three times more than the recommended amount.

Regarding prevention strategies for high blood pressure, Dr. Balasingham emphasized the importance of reducing salt intake in food, maintaining a healthy diet, increasing physical activity to alleviate mental stress, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption.

She further stressed the significance of regularly monitoring blood pressure, particularly for individuals above the age of 35 who have not yet done so. Dr. Balasingham urged them to measure their blood pressure promptly.

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