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In order to raise awareness and discuss the possible measures for the prevention and management of hypertension, a league was formed back in 2005. name the World Hypertension League, this non-profit organization comprises societies of envoys and volunteers that span over 80+countries to date.
Ever since its inauguration, the WHL has been successfully holding ‘the World Hypertension Day every year on May 17th. From inaugurating its headquarters in Hong Kong to successfully establishing regional offices across South Asia, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, the WHL still has a long way to go.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension, a public epidemic, is commonly known as high blood pressure to laymen. High blood pressure occurs when your blood vessels pump blood at a pressure that is significantly higher than the normal range.
Systolic Blood Pressure: The first reading, called systolic blood pressure, is also known as the top reading on the BP apparatus. The reading denotes the pressure by which the heart pumps or ejects the blood into its vessels.
Diastolic Blood Pressure: The second reading, called diastolic blood pressure, records the pressure with which the blood flows within the arteries between contractions.
The normal blood pressure of a healthy individual is ideally 120 over 80 mmHg or 120/80 mmHg. Here, 120mmHg is the systolic blood pressure, and 80mmHg is the diastolic blood pressure. A reading of 140/90 or higher is classically termed as high blood pressure – Remember, high blood pressure can be denoted by an increase in either of the two readings of hypertension.
Hypertension – Facts and Figures
It is quite sad to state that hypertension might not only increase the cases of mortality and morbidity but also increase the expenditures involved in recurrent healthcare visits and prescribed medications.
- Attributed as the biggest risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and premature death, hypertension is attributed to cause a loss of $131-$198 billion annually.
- Known notoriously as the ‘silent killer’, hypertension causes over 7.6 million deaths every year.
- In the United States alone, over 45% of the entire population has fallen victim to the ills of hypertension, raising risks for ischaemic heart diseases and stroke alike.
- Not so surprisingly, about half a million deaths were caused by hypertension in the US in 2019 – making it a worrisome debate year after year.
- Hypertension usually affects adults aged 30 or above, but can also affect those in their 20s.
Global Awareness for World Hypertension Day 2022
This year’s theme of World Hypertension Day is called ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, & Live Longer’ as decided by the WHL.
- Its mission is to measure blood pressure in low socio-economic areas where over two-thirds of hypertension cases are recorded.
- Raise awareness by introducing online resources in over 16 languages to educate the public about blood pressure checking instruments.
- Such guidelines teach about the accuracy of automated BP monitors, and exactly how one should navigate their way to record accurate readings.
In addition to raising awareness about BP monitors and readings, the WHL also aims to encourage the public to live an active and healthy lifestyle, with some recommendations mentioned below:
A Healthy Blood Pressure
Maintenance of healthy blood pressure i.e. within the readings of 120 – 80 is encouraged. A systolic reading of>120, but <130mmHg, and a diastolic reading of>80 but <90 are considered as ‘the prehypertension stage.
Make sure to check your blood pressure at least once a year, or at home with a BP monitor at least thrice a week if you are at a higher risk
Obesity is attributed as one of the leading causes of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. According to a study reported in 2008, every 1 kg of weight loss can improve blood pressure by 1mmHg. People who have a BMI above 29 (obesity) are at a 2-to 6- fold risk of developing hypertension as compared to those with a BMI within the normal limits (<25).
Apart from increasing the heart rate, the nicotine in tobacco and cigarettes is also known to elevate blood pressure. As the nicotine narrows the blood vessels, your heart might have to pump against higher resistance, and thus, cause high blood pressure.
Lower Your Salt & Cholesterol Intake
Table salt (NaCl) is the most convenient source of sodium in food. Fast food is also another source of excessive salt as well as cholesterol. Excessive sodium and cholesterol in fast food can cause vascular narrowing, thus minimizing the ability of the heart to pump blood into the blood vessels. Cut down on fast foods and limit salt intake to <5g per day if you have been diagnosed with hypertension.
The Final Verdict
The ultimate mission of World Hypertension Day is to focus on strategies that can help reduce the annual economic expenditure within the low-to-middle socioeconomic communities.
Consult your primary care physician for an annual blood pressure check-up as soon as possible in order to control Hypertension, leading to a healthy & longer life.
– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation.
For any symptoms or medical advice, please consult with your physician, Or Book an appointment with our board-certified doctors at Manhattan Medical Arts.