World Hypertension Day 2017: Know Your Numbers

World Hypertension Day 2017: Know Your Numbers

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Highlights:
  • The World Hypertension League (WHL) and the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) stress the need to measure your blood pressure on World Hypertension Day
  • The World Hypertension Day is observed on the 17th of May every year
  • Early detection of hypertension can prevent life-threatening complications
The World Hypertension Day 2017 is observed on the 17th of May every year by the World Hypertension League (WHL) in partnership with the International Society of Hypertension (ISH).

The theme for World Hypertension Day 2017 is Know your Numbers, with the aim to increase the awareness among the millions who suffer from high blood pressure. Here are some things that you should know about hypertension:
  • Blood pressure is the pressure that is exerted by the blood due to the contraction of the heart and the resistance of blood vessels. It enables blood to reach all parts of the body, even against gravity, to provide oxygen and nutrients, and remove carbon dioxide from all the tissues of the body.
  • When you get your blood pressure measured, you are often told that your blood pressure is a combination of two numbers, something like 110/80 or 152/88 mm of Hg. The first and higher number is referred to as the systolic blood pressure, while the lower and smaller number is called the diastolic blood pressure.
The systolic blood pressure reflects the blood pressure during the contraction of the heart, while the diastolic pressure reflects the blood pressure when the heart relaxes.
  • A blood pressure of more than 140/90 mm of Hg is referred to as hypertension. But even if your blood pressure is between 120-139/80-89, it is time to take matters in hand and make sure that you make lifestyle changes to ensure that your blood pressure is within accepted limits.
  • It is extremely important to know your blood pressure numbers so that it can be controlled well on time and complications can be avoided. You can get your blood pressure measured at any health center, and what better way to start monitoring your blood pressure than on World Hypertension Day.
  • Blood pressure measurement is a painless, non-invasive and one of the simplest medical procedures performed, something that you could even do at home and which generates instant results. Hypertension often does not produce any symptoms, and a person may realize that he/she suffers from the condition only on admission to a hospital with a heart attack or a stroke.
  • If you take your blood pressure at home, make sure that you have tied the cuff properly, else you may get an inaccurate reading. It is better to check with a doctor or nurse how to monitor your blood pressure initially, and also counter-check your blood pressure with your doctor on a regular basis.
  • Your blood pressure will not always be the same, but will vary during the day. So, as long as it is within the normal range, you need not worry. If it is slightly high on the first visit, it is highly unlikely that your doctor will start you on medications immediately. The high blood pressure may be a one-off event, and your next visit may record a normal blood pressure, especially if you have taken dietary and other steps to control it.
  • Some of the steps that you could take to control your blood pressure
  • include the following:
    • Control your intake of salt and oily food
    • Exercise on a regular basis
    • Keep your weight in check
    • Reduce smoking and alcohol intake
    • Keep your blood glucose levels under control if you suffer from diabetes
    • Reduce stress
    • Keep regular track of your blood pressure, because that is the only way that you can know that you suffer from high blood pressure
References
  1. World Hypertension Day 2017 - (http://www.whleague.org/index.php/features/world-hypertension-day)
  2. What is high blood pressure? - (https:www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/nkdep/a-z/questions-answers-high-blood-pressure/Pages/questions-answers-high-blood-pressure.aspx)
Source: Medindia

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