13.3% of COVID-19 deaths linked to hypertension: ministry

Jakarta The Ministry of Health said 13.3 percent of COVID-19 patients who succumbed to the infection had a history of hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Hypertension is the highest risk factor for death among COVID-19 patients, followed by other comorbidities such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and kidney failure, Cut Putri Ariane, director of prevention and control of non-communicable diseases at the Ministry of Health, said at a press conference, held via teleconferencing, in Jakarta on Tuesday

Hypertension is also the most common comorbidity in coronavirus patients, with 50.8 percent of 1,641 COVID-19 patients presenting with the condition, Putri Ariane informed.

Meanwhile, 34.4 percent of the patients had diabetes, 19.7 percent presented with coronary heart disease, 10.1 percent had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 6.2 percent suffered kidney failure, and 1.5 percent had cancer.

"This means that these people are already sick, which affects their immunity, so COVID-19 will be heavier for these people than others," Putri Ariane explained.

To mark World Hypertension Day, she invited the public to monitor their health by opting for routine checks at health facilities.

Through routine health checks, non-communicable diseases such as hypertension can be detected early and get treated more quickly, she noted.

Meanwhile, people who already have a history of hypertension must take medication regularly so that their blood pressure remains under control and does not lead to the emergence of other health problems, she said.

Putri Ariane said hypertension can trigger other health problems such as kidney failure, stroke, and coronary heart disease. However, she continued, hypertension can be prevented by switching to a healthier lifestyle.

Unfortunately, out of every 10 people who have non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, only three are even aware that they have a health problem, while the remaining seven are not, she pointed out.

People who have hypertension can remain unaware of any health problems, so they are considered fine, she noted.

She then urged people to switch to healthier behavior by limiting their intake of sugar, salt, and fat, exercising regularly, consuming a balanced diet, getting enough rest, and avoiding risk factors, such as smoking.

Source: Antara News

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