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​​​Why you should keep your blood pressure under control

  1. Hypertension can cause kidney failure​
    Hypertension can damage the arteries leading to the kidneys and the blood vessels in the kidneys. "This affects the kidneys’ ability to remove excess water and waste products from the blood. In turn, this may lead to kidney failure," says Dr Ian Phoon, Associate Consultant, SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP), a member of the SingHealth group.

  2. Hypertension m​ay cause sexual dysfunction
    In men, hypertension can cause erectile dysfunction (ED). It may make it more difficult for a man to have or maintain an erection due to reduced blood flow to the damaged penile arteries. Women with hypertension may experience vaginal dryness and lower sex drive.

  3. Hypertension can cause bone loss
    People with hypertension tend to excrete more calcium in the urine. Excessive calcium loss can lead to loss in bone density. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth, and help blood vessels move blood throughout the body.

  4. Hypertension is associated with sleep problems
    People who are overweight and tend to snore may have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). This is a condition in which one repeatedly stops breathing momentarily or has shallow breathing during sleep. Symptoms are daytime sleepiness despite adequate hours of sleep. People with OSA tend to have higher blood pressure.

  5. Hypertension is a sign of preeclampsia in pregnant women
    Preeclampsia, a condition characterised by hypertension (high blood pressure) and protein in the urine, affects a small percentage of pregnant women. Uncontrolled high blood pressure affects the unborn child’s growth as blo​od flow to the placenta reduces. Severe preeclampsia or eclampsia, where the mother suffers from seizures and convulsions, may develop.

  6. Hypertension is one of the components of the metabolic syndrome
    Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. These factors include high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat, high cholesterol and high glucose levels.

How to control your blood pressure

Knowing what hypertension can cause, take action to control your blood pressure. Here are some ways:

  1. Reduce your salt intake (e.g. consume less chili, soya sauce, ketchup, instant noodles and salty soups; avoid potato chips or French fries)
  2. Eat more fruits and vegetables daily
  3. Stop smoking
  4. Stay physically active (e.g. climb the stairs, or walk further to lunch)
  5. Keep a healthy weight
  6. Check your blood pressure regularly

See previous page for more dangers of high blood pressure.​

Ref: S13​