5.8 million adults in Malaysia suffer from hypertension

5.8 million adults in Malaysia suffer from hypertension

About 32.7 per cent or 5.8 million people in this country aged 18 and above are suffering from hypertension.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Subramaniam said an individual is said to suffer from hypertension if blood pressure exceeds 140/90 mmHg.

"One of the most economical ways to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases is through health promotion activities to the community.

"Meanwhile, among the habit which is able to reduce salt intake is to read food labels and choose products with less salt," said Dr. Subramaniam at the World Salt Awareness 7th Week opening, Wednesday.

The seven days campaign will be celebrated beginning March 10, with the theme "Stop, look and choose lesser salt".

Dr Subramaniam also explained that excessive salt intake raises blood pressure and increases the risk of getting heart attack and stroke.

"Because this year, the main focus will be to read and understand food label containing salt ," he said.

In the meantime, he said, the Ministry of Health is designing a salt reduction strategy, especially from soy contributing to the high salt content.

"A study showed that the average salt intake is 8.7 grams per day, about 1.7 times higher than the World Health Organization recommendation of only 5 grams a day.

"The study also showed that men consume more salt compared to women," he added.

Dr. Subramaniam said the ministry's effort to reduce salt by 2 to 40 percent, is also supported by the food industry.

He said the industry is also taking measures to lessen salt in more than 30 food items such as biscuits, soy sauce, instant noodles and frozen meat. ~ Awani


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