A doctor provides free checkup for people with high blood pressure. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Healthcare units, especially at local level, should frequently check blood pressure for people aged above 18 to early notice risks of hypertension, which is dubbed “the silent killer”, said the health minister.

Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien made the statement during a ceremony to mark World Hypertension Day (May 17) in Phu Linh Commune, Soc Son district, Hanoi on May 13.

Tien said approximately 12 million Vietnamese adults, or about one of every five people, are living with high blood pressure. Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke and heart attack which lead to death, paralysis and other disabilities and daily living problems, she noted.

The number of people with high blood pressure in Vietnam has rapidly grown as a consequence of unhealthy diet, exercise negligence and consumption of tobacco and alcohol, the minister noted.

She urged the healthcare sector to coordinate with relevant state agencies in developing policies and regulations to control the disease-related risks and promote a healthy lifestyle among the people.

In addition, local authorities should design programmes for the prevention of high blood pressure and accelerate communications campaigns to raise public awareness on the issue.

A representative from the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggested that the Government of Vietnam and local authorities should support people to lead a healthy lifestyle, for example, by creating a smoke free environment and ensuring safe and clean foods.

Making regular blood pressure check is the simplest way to early spot hypertension, especially for people aged above 40, the Ministry of Health advised.

The Vietnam National Heart Institute took the occasion to provide medical checkups and consultation for the locals at Phu Linh commune.-VNA