The World Hypertension Day (WHD) is an annual event celebrated on May 17, with the main purpose of promoting public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all country to prevent and control the silent killer.
The theme for this year’s World Hypertension Day is Know your numbers.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) is defined by Mayo Clinic as a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Hypertension is the leading risk factor for disease burden worldwide, and it is the #2 cause disease burden in developing countries. Over 1 billion people all over the world suffer from hypertension and it’s predicted to increase by 60% in 2025.
According to the International Society of Hypertension, approximately 4 in 10 adults have raised blood pressure which often goes undiagnosed and one big reason for this is that one can have hypertension without any symptoms for years. Fortunately, hypertension is one of the easiest conditions to diagnose, all it needs is a blood pressure measurement. Every adult should be aware of their blood pressure values and should also check them constantly.
Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories:
- Normal blood pressure.Normal if it’s below 120/80 mm Hg.
- Prehypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg. Prehypertension tends to get worse over time.
- Stage 1 hypertension.Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mm Hg.
- Stage 2 hypertension.More severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.
After the diagnosis of hypertension is made, it can be easily managed with dietary therapy and drugs.
Hypertension is preventable! Simply put, Healthy attitudes can combat hypertension. Like every disease in our world today, prevention is better than cure. In the case of hypertension, it’s all about healthy attitudes which are outlined below:
- Eating a healthy diet
Various nutrition guidelines are published by medical and government institutions to educate the public on healthy diets.
- Reducing salt content in the diet
Limit salt/sodium consumption from all sources and ensure that the salt is iodized.
- Increasing physical activity
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
- Maintaining a healthy weight
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally accepted as an objective way of assessing the weight of an individual. The normal BMI is 18.5-24.9kg/m2.
- Maintaining a healthy attitude towards alcohol intake
Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with many conditions including hypertension. Guidelines on alcohol consumption published by medical institutions are readily available.
Hypertension generally develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.
One important thing is to get evaluated, know your blood pressure numbers.
Remember, Hypertension is a silent killer! Prevention is Key, get to know your numbers!