Posted on May 17, 2016

In recognition of the World Hypertension Day, Qatar University College of Medicine (QU-CMED) recently organized a road show titled “Know Your Numbers” in conjunction with the organization’s Health Clinic, as part of its strategic objective to raise community awareness on specific diseases and medical issues relevant to Qatar.

The event included a mobile vitals-measurement unit which moved in various locations on campus. 4 medical staff and licensed physicians were on hand to provide students, staff and visitors with body mass index and free testing of blood pressure, blood sugar, uric acid and cholesterol, as well as advising on hypertension symptoms and prevention. The event also included a health risk assessment workshop delivered by Health Clinic staff on topics related to hypertension.

An interactive activity “Heads Up” was offered by medical students in which participants had to guess words related to hypertension in 60 seconds from hints and suggestions. The medical students measured the participants’ blood pressure before and after the activity and assessed the impact of emotional reactions on their vital signs. Commenting on the event, QU VP for Medical Education and CMED dean Dr Egon Toft said: “Hypertension is occurring when the higher number is 140mmHg or more and/or the lower number is 90mmHg or more. As the blood pressure varies from day to day, it needs to be documented on more than one occasion. Hypertension can lead to potentially life threatening conditions on a shorter or more commonly a longer term if it leads to its complications as occlusions of arteries or rupture of major blood vessels.

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According to the latest WHO data published in 2014, hypertension deaths in Qatar constitute approximately 0.7% of total deaths ranking Qatar at #168 in the world. Also a recent study published in Population Health Metrics journal showed that the overall prevalence of hypertension in Qatar was estimated to be approximately one third in both men and women. It is important to detect hypertension as early as possible. It can be treated with medicine, diet changes and other changes of lifestyle, and treatment reduces the risks associated with hypertension. This year’s campaign aims to promote this early detection and we are very pleased to collaborate with QU Health Clinic’s physicians on this important activity.”

Health Clinic head Dr Hafsa Hashad said: “High blood pressure or hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer”. People may suffer with this condition for years without any symptoms, but if left untreated it can increase the likelihood of serious cardiovascular and renal diseases. Hypertension is quite prevalent in Qatar - as such, awareness of what hypertension is and of its possible symptoms, treatment and prevention, is of utmost importance to protect the health of our community members.

As part of the Health Clinic’s continuing commitment to health education, we are pleased to collaborate with the College of Medicine to raise awareness about hypertension and how to minimize risks of this condition. Health Clinic physicians and nurses were available to provide screening and blood pressure tests. Our medical team also carried our risks assessment workshops to determine if individuals are at risk of hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and gout. This is a quick and convenient opportunity for QU members to assess their risk for a disease that is often left undiagnosed for years.”