Programme Manager of the Non-Communicable Diseases of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Efua Commeh, has indicated a rather worrying trend of rising stroke cases among young people of 40 years and below in Ghana.

According to her, these have become so owing to many cases of hypertension in such young persons that go untreated or unmanaged in recent times, a graphiconline report says.

Dr. Commeh further indicated that whereas such cases were more prevalent among the aged – persons between 80 and 90 years old, people as young as 35 and 40 are now being diagnosed of stroke due to uncontrolled hypertension.

“These strokes that originally we used to see in very aged people are now occurring in the productive work group; people who are actively working,” she said.

“They bring them to the hospital and they say nothing happened and the person collapsed. You check them and they have hypertension. It is this hypertension that gives them complications like stroke, heart attacks, kidney diseases, among others,” graphiconline quoted her as having said.

Dr. Commeh further noted that about 600,000 cases of hypertension are recorded annually, with fewer of these people in their older ages and more of these patients being younger persons, sometimes in their 20s.

She was speaking in an interview ahead of World Hypertension Day which will be observed on May 17, on the theme: “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”.

Dr. Commeh however mentioned some key causes of stroke among the youth.
Among others, she said that stress is one of the key causes of stroke.

“(For) Some of them, it is pressure from school, pressure from work, pressure from the home and pressure everywhere; and on top of these stresses, closing quite late from work and getting home late before eating in the night.

“At that time of the night, you are not going to get any appropriate food to eat.

“You end up taking fast foods, and these, among others, contribute to making us unhealthy, and they are the things that can give us hypertension,” she explained.
She also explained that bad habits including cigarette smoking, alcoholism, and unhealthy diets contribute to hypertension.

“Hypertension is said to be a silent killer.

“It is called silent because when it starts rising, you don’t notice anything.

“The first thing you know is you have severe headache and then the person collapses, and by that time, it would have gotten a bit too late,” Dr. Commeh said.

Source: Ghanaweb