Marketing and Communications Manager
BVI Health Services Authority
Senior Medical Officer Dr. Shaun Ramroop has said that according to statistics from the National Health Insurance, there are between 5,000 and 10,000 people being treated locally for hypertension which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Ramroop while commenting on the Territory’s observance of World Heart Day today is encouraging residents to love their heart by making lifestyle changes that would lower their vulnerability to cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Ramroop explained that cardiovascular disease occurs when blood vessels leading to the heart and brain are affected by high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
“The disease process occurs when those blood vessels get blocked. When they get blocked, blood supply maybe cut off to the heart or brain which can result in a heart attack or stroke,” he said.
The Senior Medical Officer also noted that persons should be especially vigilant for high blood pressure and hypertension because it is the root cause of most cardiovascular issues and can go virtually undetected.
“Anyone who is over the age of 40 should have their blood pressure checked once a year. If you are at risk or have a family history you should start in your 30s. If you have any history of having problems with your kidney, chest pain, shortness of breath, or weakness or numbness of the body seek medical intervention immediately,” Dr. Ramroop advised.
He added that care is available at all of the health centres associated with the BVI Health Services Authority. “We provide screening for high blood pressure, treatment, follow up and dietician services,” He said.
World Heart Day is being observed under the theme “Use Heart to Beat Cardiovascular Disease”. The day is observed to remind persons, communities, countries and the world at large about the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Ramroop further added that despite the seriousness of cardiovascular diseases, the community needs to know that they are preventable. Simple lifestyle changes he said including diet and exercise, consuming at least one pound of fruits and vegetables daily, drinking plenty of water, avoiding tobacco use and limiting alcohol use can reduce or prevent the effects of cardiovascular diseases.
Persons can learn more about cardiovascular diseases and what they can do to lower their risk by tuning into the BVIHSA report featuring Dr. Ramroop on ZBVI on October 6 and 8 at 9:00 a.m.
The BVI Health Services Authority is committed to delivering excellent, compassionate, client-centered healthcare across the Territory.