The leading causes of mortality in Belize are coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, stroke, prostate cancer and violence – in that order. This is followed by influenza and pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, liver disease, road traffic accidents and kidney disease. Source: World Health Organisation and the World Bank reports 2018.
“Hypertension is the number one risk factor for illness and premature death from cardiovascular disease, and one of the most common non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean region.
“This disease may go undetected, so getting checked every year is important, so that you are not at risk for complications. In the Caribbean, most people with ‘pressure’ already know it, so equally important is for someone diagnosed to take it seriously and stay on their preventive treatment and lifestyle plan”, remarked Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in observance of World Hypertension Day 2018.
It is very important to know your blood pressure. This is critically important for SCUBA divers and snorkelers that have not had a recent medical check up. High blood pressure is known as a silent killer and symptoms such as an enlarged heart may appear years after the onset of this oft symptomless disease.
Above is a handy Blood Pressure Chart helpful to diagnose and monitor individual blood pressure readings. Note that in tropical countries such as Belize, sodium intake can be high to make up for hydration needs. More information at the Caribbean Public Health Agency: Hypertension Is Not A Disease To Be Taken Lightly