- Every year, World Hypertension Day is observed on 17th May
- Hypertension is curable with proper medication, dietary changes and lifestyle modifications.
World Hypertension Day is observed on 17th May every
year by the World Hypertension League (WHL) in association with the
International Society of Hypertension (ISH). The Theme for World Hypertension
Day 2018 is "Know your Numbers," with the main goal to create
awareness of hypertension (high blood pressure), its symptoms, complications
and preventive measures to the community.
What is Hypertension?Hypertension is also known as high or elevated blood pressure. According to World Health Organization, Hypertension is a condition in which the blood vessels have continuously raised pressure. Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body.
Every individual has blood pressure which is necessary to move blood through the arteries and provide oxygen to the tissues in the body. Blood pressure is caused by the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries due to the contraction of the heart. Blood pressure is generally measured using an instrument known as a sphygmomanometer.
Blood pressure is measured in terms of systolic pressure (upper value), i.e. when the heart beats while pumping the blood, and diastolic pressure (lower value), i.e. when the heart is at rest between beats.
Facts and Statistics on Hypertension
- Globally, at least 1.13 billion adults are suffering from high blood pressure
- Worldwide, around 10.3 million people die due to hypertension every year
- High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death
- Nearly 75 million American adults have hypertension
- About one in three American adults has pre-hypertension
- In India, nearly 33-40% of the urban population and 12-17% of the rural population are affected by hypertension.
Types of HypertensionHypertension can be divided into;
- Primary Hypertension which is caused by no underlying medical cause.
- Secondary Hypertension is caused by certain conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, endocrine disorders and so on.
Blood Pressure Category
Less than 120
Less than 80
160 or higher
100 or higher
Risk Factors of HypertensionThe factors which increase the risk of hypertension are:
- Improper diet
- Salt sensitivity
- Alcohol consumption
- Disease conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, renal diseases.
What are the Symptoms of Hypertension?Many individuals with hypertension may not have symptoms whereas few show symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Pain over the heart
- Gastrointestinal disturbances.
Healthy Ways to Treat and Prevent HypertensionHypertension can be treated or prevented with certain healthy lifestyle modifications like
- Proper medications
- Eating a healthy diet which has low calories, low fat, low sodium
- Regular physical activity (at least three to four times a week for 40 minutes)
- Quit smoking and alcohol consumption.
Importance of DASH DietDASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet can be a healthy way to lower the risk of hypertension. DASH eating plan lowers the salt content from 2.3 gm per day to 1.5gm, thereby decreasing the levels of high blood pressure. The guidelines for DASH diet are given below.
Cereals and grains
Meat (lean meats, poultry& fish)
2 or less
Nuts, seeds and legumes
4-5 per week
Fats and sweets
- Hypertension - (http://www.who.int/topics/hypertension/en/)
- What Is the DASH Diet? - (http://dashdiet.org/what_is_the_dash_diet.asp)
- High Blood Pressure & Kidney Disease - (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/high-blood-pressure)
- High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet - (https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_bloodpressure.htm)