- World Hypertension Day is celebrated on May 17th every
- The theme for this year's World
Hypertension Day is 'Know your numbers'
- This day is dedicated to spreading
awareness about blood pressure and associated diseases.
The World Hypertension Day was initiated by The
World Hypertension League and is celebrated to raise awareness about high blood pressure
that is a major risk for cardiovascular
stroke, aneurysm, heart failure and heart attack.
is not a problem solely associated with the
aging population in the West, as commonly conceived. Instead, as much as 80% of the cardiovascular deaths are
present in low and middle-income families.
‘World Hypertension Day focuses on increasing blood pressure screening to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.’
Risk for Hypertension
The likelihood of people dying due to
complications associated with high blood pressure is
- 4 times more likely in Ghana
- 1 in France
- 6 times in Mongolia
Hypertension is one of the most
prevalent chronic diseases in India
- 12 - 17% in rural areas
- 20-40% in urban cities
Complications due to hypertension lead to 9.4
million deaths every year worldwide.
Dr. Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine says that non-communicable diseases are rising in numbers across the world and out
of that hypertension is the most prevalent and the one that we can do something
took over as CEO of The World Hypertension League in
2004, just a month before the World Hypertensions Day. To increase awareness about the need to let everyone know about
the importance of hypertension, he wanted 100,000 to be screened before the
World Hypertension Day 2014. There were screening camps that were held at
soccer games in Argentina and in baseball games in Japan, and even in areas
that were subjected to massive devastation like Bangladesh and Haiti. In the
end, 500,000 people were screened before the World Hypertension Day.
In 2015, the
target number was 1 million, but 2.5 million were
ultimately screened. This year the target population that should be screened is
3 million. The organization along with their associate members hope to reach
the target and spread awareness about the condition.
Normal Blood Pressure
The normal blood pressure
an individual should be 120/80 mmHg. Ideally, the diastolic pressure (the lower
number) should be maintained below 90 mm Hg.
, a leading cardiac surgeon, Executive Director of the National
Lutheran Health and Medical Board provides certain pointers towards maintaining
a healthy blood pressure.
Significance of Knowing the Blood Pressure
- Indians tend to consume a diet high in salt, which tends to elevate blood pressure.
Indians should consciously consume lower levels of salt.
- Overweight people tend to be at higher risk of developing high blood
- A healthy exercise routine should be
- Stress levels should be
controlled through yoga and other methods aimed at reducing stress.
- High blood pressure increases the risk for
- Small blood pressure increase does
not usually produce any significant symptom
- Blood pressure can be detected
only by monitoring
- Identification of small increase in
blood pressure at an early stage will aid in lowering it using lifestyle and diet modifications.
When the Rotary Club of Britain conducted a screening camp for people
in 2015, 1 in 3 people was found to require consultation with the GP due to elevated levels of
BP. This brings to the fore the high prevalence of this non-communicable
disease and the need to screen populations to lower risk for cardiac disease.
Interview with Dr. Georgi Abraham to mark the World Hypertension Day 2016
Here are excerpts from an interview with the
Director of Nephrology of Madras Medical Mission Hospital, Dr. Georgi Abraham as he
discusses the raging issues with Hypertension in our society and the link with
kidney disease. Other prestigious posts held by Dr. Georgi Abraham include
Medicine - Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Adjunct Prof - Tamil Nadu
Dr.M.G.R University, Emeritus Prof - Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati,
Visiting Prof. Manipal University, Manipal, Editor in Chief, Indian journal of Peritoneal
Diseases and South Asian Journal of Nephrology, Urology & Transplantation.
Q) What is the prevalence of hypertension in
The incidence of Hypertension in India is
about 33% in urban Indians and 25% in rural Indians. Systemic Hypertension is
an asymptomatic condition, which is more commonly prevalent with an aging
population. The earliest age at which Blood Pressure recording should be done
as recommended by the American Pediatric Association is from age 3 onwards
yearly. The blood pressure reading in children should interpret according to
the centiles. The reason for this recommendation is that Hypertension is
prevalent in 0.62 to 1.4 % of children which is mostly due to secondary causes
and adult population
Q) What is your recommendation for people
diagnosed with hypertension?
All hypertensives (Blood Pressure > 140/90
mm Hg) should have a kidney function test including a serum creatinine level
and urine examination which is mandatory to exclude treatable kidney disease,
that may be missed if this knowledge does not exist.
Q) What is the significance of kidney disease
The Indian CKD registry data suggested
diabetic kidney disease and hypertension as the commonest causes of morbidity.
Some individuals with Hypertension have protein leak in the urine which may
require investigations including a simple imaging such as an Ultra Sound
Examination and if suspected of having kidney disease such as glomerulonephritis
, a kidney Biopsy
Q) How can hypertension be prevented or
Simple measures like lifestyle modifications
that include diet control, exercise, meditation and yoga can be useful in
An undiagnosed high blood pressure can lead to disastrous complications like
stroke, heart failure, heart attack and chronic kidney disease.
All these complications can be prevented by
controlling blood pressure with lifestyle modifications and medications which
are available at a cheaper cost in India. As diabetes and hypertension can co-exist
, both disease conditions should be appropriately treated and followed
up with a family doctor on a regular basis for the well-being of the community.
- Hypertension in India
- Know Your Blood Pressure Day 2016