Hypertension, also called High Blood Pressure is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
According to National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019, there are 3 in 10 or 6.4 million people in Malaysia have hypertension. Only half are aware that they have hypertension. Among these, 90% are on medication but only 45% have their blood pressure controlled. 
Hypertension is often referred to as a "silent killer". The majority of people who having hypertension are unaware of the problem because it may have no warning signs or symptoms but is a major risk of heart disease and stroke. Therefore, it is critical to check blood pressure frequently and understanding your results is key to controlling high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Category:
Is your blood pressure in a healthy or an unhealthy range? Here’s how you can understand your systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. 
Normal blood pressure - less than 120/80 mm Hg
Elevated - 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic
Hypertension Stage 1 - 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic
Hypertension Stage 2 - 140/90 mm Hg or higher
Hypertensive Crisis - exceed 180/120 mm Hg
What cause hypertension?
Hypertension is a condition that often develops over time. It can occur as a result of poor lifestyle choices or certain medical problems. The common factors that might lead to hypertension include:
1. Family History
Having family members who have high blood pressure may increase the risk of hypertension.
2. Being overweight or obese
People who are overweight or have obesity are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Cigarette smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke.
4. Lack of physical activity
People who are not being physically active tend to have higher heart rates. The higher your heart rate, the harder your heart must work with each contraction and the stronger the force on your arteries.
5. Too much salt in your diet
Too much salt (sodium) in your diet may cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
How to control hypertension?
Lifestyle and diet play an important role in controlling hypertension. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help to manage and regulate your blood pressure significantly.
Here are some simple steps you may take to lower your blood pressure and help to maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
1. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise helps make your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in your arteries.
2. Healthy diet
Choose healthy meal and snack options to help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Reduce sodium intake
Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure.
4. Quit Smoking
Swearing off cigarettes is probably the single best thing you can do for your heart. It’s also good for your health in general.
5. Take Prescription Medications
For some people, lifestyle changes are enough to control blood pressure. However, many people need medication according doctor prescribes.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure may increases your risk of health problems, such as stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and kidney failure.
Living a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious meals, keeping track of your weight, and getting regular exercise are all good ways to help regulate your blood pressure. However, some persons with hypertension require medical treatment to control their blood pressure.
Let's start your healthy lifestyle today to protect yourself from cardiovascular disease.
Together we live healthier and build a healthier future!
1. Institute for Public Health 2020. National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019: Non-communicable diseases, healthcare demand, and health literacy—Key Findings.
2. American Heart Association. Health Topics: Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. [https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings]
3. Mayo Clinic. Patient Care & Health Information: High blood pressure (hypertension). [https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410]
4. American Heart Association. Health Topics: The Facts About High Blood Pressure. [https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure]
Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information purposes only. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.