Learning how to Care for our Hearts on World Hypertension Day

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Over 12 million Filipinos are suffering from hypertension. As the country’s leading cause of death, along with other cardiovascular diseases, hypertension remains to be a top problem among Filipinos. Over 70% of cases are uncontrolled, and 38.6% of patient populations in hospitals are attributed to hypertension. On World Hypertension Day, Sanofi together with TheAsianParent organized a FamHealthy episode via Facebook live to raise awareness about managing this lifestyle diseaseespecially in this time of a pandemic.

With over 230 live viewers, mom vlogger Ara Casas-Tumuran moderated the session with cardiologist Dr. Eduardo Tin Hay, and Sanofi Philippines Country lead Dr. Amal Makhloufi.

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Among the topics covered is how to properly measure one’s blood pressure, which is a necessity to manage hypertension. Dr. Tin Hay shared a few tips that should be adapted for proper blood pressure measurement including not drinking caffeine and not smoking 30 minutes prior to the measurement. He also stressed the importance of getting an accurate reading, preferably as an average of two separate measurements, before getting diagnosed with hypertension.

Dr. Tin Hay also answered questions from the audience about the risks of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 when one is hypertensive. He explained the importance of referring to one’s primary care physician because cases may vary from person to person. “Having hypertension is not a contraindication for getting vaccinated. If you have hypertension, but are taking maintenance medicine, you can get vaccinated, as long as you check up with your doctor first,” said Dr. Tin Hay.

Several moms asked about risk factors, and how to properly manage hypertension. Dr. Tin Hay mentioned that the heat, especially during the summer months can greatly affect one’s blood pressure. He emphasized the need to limit the intake of salty foods and alcohol, and to exercise regularly. “Limiting your salt intake and exercising regularly can lower your blood pressure. It’s not perfect, but it could help. These small things, if you add them together, can greatly help in managing hypertension.”

Dr. Makhloufi, Country Lead for Sanofi Philippines, opened the discussion with a brief overview on hypertension, highlighting that in the Philippines, over 12 million Filipinos people are suffering from the disease. “As a global healthcare company, we are not only promoting the consistent adherence to hypertension medicines. We are also encouraging that patients and their family members adopt a more holistic approach to disease management,” shares Dr. Makhloufi. 

She also shared the programs that Sanofi has in place for hypertensive patients, like the EMPOWER Patient Support Program, where patients are provided with personalized coaching sessions by nurse educators. Additional coaching modules are also available through the BioMark app that can be downloaded by patients in Playstore or Applestore for free.

Moms from the audience were eager to ask questions about common misconceptions about hypertension and were grateful to have their questions answered by Dr. Amal Makhloufi and Dr. Tin Hay. 

Watch the replay of the webisode here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1230483180739424&ref=watch_permalink

This article has been initially published last

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