Early treatment of hypertension can reduce stroke risk

Doctors are increasingly seeing younger patients struck down by stroke in the prime of their lives, even as advancing age is the most common factor in strokes ("1 in 10 stroke patients here aged under 50"; Nov 19).

Obesity, smoking, stress, lack of exercise and other ills of an affluent society have contributed to the increasing incidence of this crippling and often life-terminating condition.

Fortunately, recognition and early effective treatment of hypertension reduce sufferers' morbidity down almost to that of a normal person's. Side effects of treatment are mostly minimal and are easy to manage.

The Community Health Assist Scheme and Pioneer Generation subsidies are immensely helpful for the financially needy and the pioneer generation in their combat against hypertension, while Medisave can also be utilised as copayment in private clinics.

No one should spurn modern, proven and efficacious treatment, even as traditional Chinese medicine and home remedies can be used as adjuncts.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)