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PIA Press Release

DOH pushes advocacy for healthier lifestyle

Baguio City (15 May) -- Cases of lifestyle related non-communicable diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney diseases are increasing in the Cordillera Region.

Department of Health Center for Health and Development (DOH-CHD-CAR) Regional Director Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, disclosed this alarming fact in a Kapihan Forum, Thursday. These diseases also lead to an increase on heart illnesses and deaths due to stroke or heart attack, she stressed.

According to Cabotaje, CAR is among the regions in the country that ranks very poor in terms of illnesses and deaths due to lifestyle related risk factors, on how the people live their life, on how they eat and the environment they are expose to.

"People in CAR grow vegetables but many of us do not eat them. Too much alcohol, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle are also among the risk factors of hypertension and other lifestyle related non-communicable diseases," Cabotaje said.

So this month of May, in line with the country's commemoration of National Hypertension Awareness Month, the DOH in partnership with the city Health Service Office, is once again advocating for a Healthy Lifestyle (HL).

Under the HL to the MAX program, the public are advised against smoking, drinking alcohol; to eat low fat, low salt, high fiber diet; do physical activity, say no to illegal drugs and to manage stress.

City Health Services Office - Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit Head, Dr. Donna Tubera, also confirmed that hypertension cases in Baguio City is fast increasing. From 650 cases in 2006, it increased to 1058 cases in 2009.

"What makes it more alarming is that our 2009 data is even under-reported as it comes from consultations with the health centers in the city only. Cases from private clinics are not included," Tubera said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) listed hypertension as the number one cause of death in the world.

Health authorities reiterated their call to the public to change to a healthier lifestyle to prevent hypertension.

To do this, people must regularly monitor their blood pressure and maintain their BP to a less than 120 over less than 80 level; maintain a normal weight, regularly check their waistline, eat more fruits and vegetables, have a regular exercise and to prepare food with lesser salt. (PIA) [top]

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