World Hypertension day is celebrated annually on May 17 to promote the public awareness of the importance of monitoring blood pressure with being aware of its natural levels.
According to the WHO, “Hypertension – or elevated blood pressure – is a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness. It is one of the leading causes of premature death worldwide. Of the estimated 1.13 billion people who have hypertension, fewer than 1 in 5 have it under control. The main contributors to the rise in hypertension are unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and the consumption of alcohol and tobacco”.
To achieve the global target to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025, WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Hearts Initiative in 2016.
History of World Hypertension Day:
The World Hypertension League first launched its World Hypertension Day on May 14, 2005, and since 2006, it has been celebrated annually on May 17.
As the inaugural effort in 2005, the theme was simply ‘Awareness of high blood pressure’ followed by the theme ‘Treat to goal’ in 2006, with a focus on keeping blood pressure in check. The 2007 World Hypertension Day theme was ‘Healthy diet and healthy blood pressure’. These health-related themes by the WHL intend to raise awareness not only of hypertension but also other factors contributing to an increase in the incidence of hypertension and ways to prevent it. And each year the theme was different.
Theme of World Hypertension Day 2020:
The World Hypertension League (WHL) has announced that it will postpone the celebration of World Hypertension Day (WHD) 2020 until October 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The expanded theme for World Hypertension Day 2020 is Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer, to increase high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world
Facts about Hypertension:
- High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is defined as a systolic blood pressure equal to or above 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure equal to or above 90 mm Hg.
- Two out of five adults in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are affected by high blood pressure.
- Behavioral and lifestyle-related factors can put people at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. These factors include eating too much salt (sodium), being overweight and not getting enough exercise, as well as using tobacco.
- High blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms.
- Women and minorities face unique risks when it comes to high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure may be linked to dementia(a loss of cognitive function).