High blood pressure affects a proportion of 15% people among the general population in Rwanda and kills more people than any other disease in the country, a leading cardiologist warned Friday.According to Dr Francois Uwinkindi, head of Non Communicable Diseases department at Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), the chronic condition has become a leading cause of death and disability in Rwanda.
Speaking during an interview with Rwanda Television, the senior Rwandan health official explained that chronic diseases and nutrition showed that the prevalence rates of hypertension, and high cholesterol among Rwandan population was still high.
Reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that hypertension can cause serious damage to the heart, including heart attacks, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, kidney damage, and burst or blocked arteries, which can lead to strokes.
The overall prevalence of hypertension in Rwanda is currently estimated at 15.4%.
The prevalence of hypertension was more than double in those aged 55–64 years as compared to those 44 years and below (38.6%), it said.
The exact cause of hypertension is not known in up to 90% of the patients, but it can be linked to known risk factors such as obesity, sedentary life style, high salt diet intake, excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco use, diabetes, aging, family history of hypertension,
and generally blacks are at a higher risk of suffering from hypertension.