Every year on May 17th, people all over the world unite for World Hypertension Day in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of high blood pressure, the role hypertension plays in the onset of life-threatening complications, and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.
The aforementioned objectives can only be met through the concerted efforts of numerous national and international healthcare institutions, news outlets, medical experts, and volunteer groups.
At present, according to the American College of Cardiology (ACC), hypertension is defined as having a systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or more and/or a diastolic blood pressure of more than 80 mmHg.
Why World Hypertension Day (WHD) Matters
Gradually rising blood pressure, or hypertension, is the “silent killer” since it contributes to the onset of a host of cardiovascular diseases. There are no symptoms or indicators to look out for.
Over 100 million people are affected by hypertension, which affects up to 45 percent of the adult population worldwide. The prevalence of hypertension increases with age and occurs equally among different socioeconomic and social groups.
According to a global health survey report, hypertension has been the top cause of mortality and disability-adjusted life years in the world since 1990. By 2025, experts predict that the number of people suffering from hypertension will have increased by 15-20%, reaching close to 150 crore.
Like lowering hypertension rather than treating its complications, preventing the disease entirely is preferable. World Hypertension Day was created with the express purpose of raising public consciousness about hypertension.
The theme of the 2023 World Hypertension Day
To address the low awareness rates of hypertension, especially in low- to middle-income areas, and to promote correct blood pressure measurement methods, the World Hypertension Day theme for 2023 is “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, and Live Longer.”
Since the year 2021, this has been a recurring topic. The recurring nature of this topic is sufficient to stress the importance of a correct diagnosis of hypertension.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) launched a free, multilingual online course to verify the accuracy of blood pressure (BP) monitors in an effort to raise public awareness of hypertension.
Theme for World Hypertension Day 2022: Know Your Numbers, Take Charge, and Extend Your Lifespan
Theme for World Hypertension Day 2021: Know Your Numbers, Take Charge of Your Health, and Extend Your Lifespan
Challenges in measuring blood pressure
Patients’ individual traits and behaviors can make taking a blood pressure reading difficult. The medical personnel saw a wide variety of patient behaviors that, while not deliberate, could interfere with BP measurement.
There are many obstacles faced by patients that prevent accurate blood pressure readings, such as:
Not having both feet firmly planted on the floor (not crossing, not dangling, etc.).
The patient’s arm was positioned below the level of the measuring device, palm down.
Checking blood pressure right away As soon as the patient entered the medical center,
The patient was not reclining in a chair that supported their back.
During the BP check, the patient continued to converse.
Failure to acquire a second reading indicates that the cuff was not properly positioned (not directly on the skin during BP measurement), even if the first reading was greater than or equal to 140/90 mm Hg.
The patient was active, so measurements were difficult.
Using the wrong cuff size when taking measurements
It was shown that between 10 and 50 percent of hypertensive individuals reported having normal blood pressure outside of medical facilities. White coat hypertension, or a sudden rise in blood pressure during a doctor’s appointment likely caused by worry, is one possible explanation, but the aforementioned hurdles could also be to blame for inaccurately high readings.
Inaccurate BP readings can lead to the inappropriate use of hypertensive drugs, which can have serious side effects and come at a high cost. The aforementioned obstacles are easily surmounted, allowing the healthcare team to precisely monitor and diagnose hypertension.
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Guidelines for Lowering Blood Pressure
In an effort to lower blood pressure, a number of simple strategies can be used. Here are just a few examples:
A rise in physical exertion and movement
Any weight loss in the context of obesity
Limiting your intake of sugar and processed foods
Increasing dietary potassium intake while decreasing salt intake
Cutting out processed foods
Giving up bad habits like smoking and drinking
Eliminating unnecessary stress
Protection of a healthy night’s sleep
Increasing one’s intake of garlic or garlic extract may
Eating a diet rich in lean protein