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HomeLife StyleHypertension and the Family

Hypertension and the Family

Hypertension is known to affect about one billion people worldwide with approximately 7.1 million deaths per year.

The consequences of the disease are serious and adversely affect many end organs like the heart and kidneys. Early diagnosis and institution of appropriate management play important roles in limitation of the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease

Good blood pressure control involves lifestyle modification and drug therapy. However, failure to adhere to therapy is most often present in chronic asymptomatic conditions like hypertension which require long-term treatment. It is also documented that despite the proven benefits of lifestyle modification, these measures are not usually prescribed by physicians and are not being practised by all patients with hypertension. The patients need motivation for effective therapy. Such motivation include social support from family members. Thus effective management requires the concerted effort of the family.

It is most often the family, not the individual or health professionals that decide whether the individual should seek or use health care services or not, hence the World Health Organisation characterised the family as the primary social agent in the promotion of health and well-being. The family plays a major role in various aspects of hypertension management including adherence to medication, lifestyle modification and follow-up visits, hence the need to employ a family-oriented approach in the management of this disease. Studies from various parts of the world have proven that availability of family support especially involving the spouse is known to improve drug adherence resulting in significant reduction in blood pressure and overall mortality amongst hypertensives

It is therefore very important for families of hypertensive patients to be aware of the importance of family involvement in blood pressure control and to make such support available.

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