Tim noticed that something was wrong – eventually!
In January, 2004, Tim started to have unusual headaches.
Life for him had been hectic for some years, balancing the needs of family life with running his small publishing business. So, he thought that his bloodshot eyes were due to his contact lenses producing eye infections because he was run down.
Soon afterwards, Tim, my friend in Richmond Hill, phoned his contact lens optician for his annual eye test. Upon seeing his eye, the optician said that it was not an infection, but hemorrhaging (burst blood vessels) within the eye caused by high blood pressure.
He told me to call my doctor immediately because normal pressure was 120/80. As Tim described: ”My blood pressure was found to be 190/110mmHg! I was amazed and horrified!”
Yes, I have felt tired quite often, but then so do a lot of people juggling family and work, he thought. His GP was blunt: “You could have had a stroke or heart attack at any moment.” …..not what you want to hear in your fifties, Tim worriedly reasoned! But, Tim did not know the facts in Canada, that is the numbers.
Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a leading modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease and accounts for more than 10% of the population-attributable fraction (PAF) for mortality worldwide. Hypertension affects almost 1 in 4 Canadian adults, and the lifetime incidence of developing high blood pressure is estimated to be 90%. (1)
As of 2018, 45% of U.S. adults had high blood pressure, including 51% of men and 40% of women. That included 22% of adults aged 18 to 39, 55% of adults aged 40 to 59, and 75% of those aged 60 and over. (2)
If Tim had known these numbers in Canada and the US which, for some time now, clearly have revealed the prevalence in adults of high blood pressure, or hypertension, and its associated risks, it might be concluded that Tim might have ”noticed something was wrong”—sooner rather than eventually.
Regardless, what actions did he then take to restore his high blood pressure, his hypertension, as best he could to normality? Part Two of Tim’s Story will continue soon…
(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypertension prevalence among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 2017–2018. Updated April 2020.
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