Hypertension or high blood pressure means persistently elevated blood pressure of an individual. According to international statistics, about 26% of the world’s adult population has hypertension, and the prevalence is expected to increase to 29% by 2025. It is also called a ‘Silent Killer’ because it does not cause any symptoms initially and go unnoticed for many years. This is why it’s important to raise hypertension awareness and emphasize the importance of blood pressure control. Hypertension has become one of the most challenging public health issues in the world due to its pivotal role in the growing global burden of illness and disability.
World Hypertension Day (WHD) is celebrated annually on May 17 which was initiated by the World Hypertension League. The World Hypertension Day (WHD) aims to raise public awareness about hypertension and empower people of all countries to avoid and monitor the modern epidemic, as well as spread knowledge about its complications. The theme for the past years was Know Your Numbers with the aim of raising awareness of high blood pressure (BP). The theme for World Hypertension Day 2021 is Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer.
The reading for blood pressure is 120/80mmHg in technical terms. The term “mmHg” stands for millimeters of mercury. The reading is expressed as “120 over 80,” with 120 representing the systolic pressure and 80 representing the diastolic pressure. If your blood pressure readings fall outside of this range, you may need medical help. That’s why World Hypertension Day stresses the importance of understanding your numbers so you can respond quickly if they’re outside of the usual range.
Hypertension usually do not show symptoms, but when symptoms do occur, they can include:
- Early morning headaches
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Vision changes
- Buzzing in the ears
Severe hypertension can cause:
- Chest pain
- Muscle tremors.
High blood pressure can be intensified by your lifestyle choices:
- Unhealthy diet: High blood pressure can be caused by a diet that is too high in sodium and too low in potassium.
- Physical inactivity: Regular exercise can also help you maintain a healthier weight, which can also reduce your blood pressure.
- Obesity: Obesity can lead to heart disease and diabetes, in addition to high blood pressure.
- High alcohol consumption: Too much alcohol will cause your blood pressure to rise.
- Tobacco: Tobacco consumption of any kind raises nicotine levels, which raises blood pressure.
- Genetics and family history: High blood pressure, heart disease, and other related conditions are likely to have a genetic link.
- Age and increasing stress: Since your blood pressure continues to rise as you age, your risk of high blood pressure rises as you grow older and face more stress.
Daily Tips to Reduce Hypertension
Everybody should follow a healthy lifestyle and balanced healthy diet to maintain ideal body weight. Following are few health tips to reduce the risk of getting hypertension.
- Reduce salt intake (to less than 5g daily)
- Eat more fruit and vegetables daily
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid all type of tobacco
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Limiting the intake of foods high in saturated fats
- Eliminate/reduce trans fats in the diet
- Reduce and manage mental stress
- Regularly check blood pressure
- Treat high blood pressure
- Manage other medical conditions, such as diabetes and kidney diseases
It is dangerous if anyone ignores the symptoms of hypertension. This is rapidly spreading around the world. You can lower your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range by making lifestyle and dietary improvements. Always keep in mind that untreated hypertension will harm the heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys. Also, please don’t base your blood pressure on a single reading. To diagnose your disease, your family doctor may need to take many readings. If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, make sure to keep in contact with your family doctor and take regular blood pressure readings to keep track of your numbers.