World Hypertension Day is observed annually on May 17 to raise awareness of hypertension and encourage hypertension prevention, detection, and control. Hypertension affects more than one billion people around the globe and over 30% of the adult population in the world. It is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, particularly coronary artery disease and stroke. Besides, hypertension is also a risk factor for chronic kidney disease, heart failure, arrhythmia, and dementia. That’s why sharing information about this condition is essential.
History of World Hypertension Day
World Hypertension Day was initiated by the World Hypertension League (W.H.L.). W.H.L. is a non-profit international organization founded on January 4, 1984, dedicated to preventing and controlling hypertension at the population level. World Hypertension Day was first launched on May 14, 2005. Since 2006, W.H.L. has been observing May 17 of every year as World Hypertension Day. The day is aimed at increasing awareness of hypertension due to the lack of appropriate knowledge among patients with hypertension.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a medical condition when the blood pressure in the blood vessels is continuously elevated. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your blood vessels are, the higher your blood pressure becomes. High blood pressure typically does not cause symptoms, but long-term high blood pressure can result in coronary artery disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, arrhythmia, and dementia. Since there are usually no symptoms, you need to have a screening to identify your blood pressure.
Hypertension has two types: primary (essential) hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension does not have an identifiable cause, while secondary hypertension does, including obstructive sleep apnea, kidney disease, and certain medications such as birth control pills or some prescription drugs. Some methods for the primary prevention of hypertension include: maintaining body weight for adults; engaging in regular aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking; reducing dietary sodium intake; consuming a diet rich in fruit and vegetables; and limiting alcohol consumption.
World Hypertension Day timeline
Stephen Hales makes the first published measurement of blood pressure.
Eberhard Frank coins the term essential hypertension, ‘Essentielle Hypertonie.’
The World Hypertension League is established on January 4.
World Hypertension Day launches on May 14.
World Hypertension Day FAQs
What is the theme of World Hypertension Day?
The theme of World Hypertension Day this year is “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.”
Does coffee raise blood pressure?
Caffeine may cause a short but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, and the blood pressure response to caffeine differs from person to person.
Can drinking lots of water lower blood pressure?
Drinking water and staying hydrated can help maintain healthy blood pressure.
How to Observe World Hypertension Day
Spread the word
Some people living with hypertension are unaware of their condition. That’s why it’s essential to spread the word about hypertension so that people will have their blood pressure checked regularly.
Maybe you are one of those who are unaware of your blood pressure condition. So, have yours checked, and hopefully, your blood pressure is normal.
Prevent it from happening
Since hypertension doesn’t show any symptoms, it’s vital to check if you have it. After that, you want to follow the primary prevention of hypertension, such as maintaining your body weight, engaging in regular aerobic physical activity, and limiting alcohol consumption.
5 Facts About Hypertension That You Need To Know
It can happen to young people
It is said that nearly one in four adults aged 20 to 44 have hypertension.
It’s a contributing cause of death
In 2019, hypertension was a primary or contributing cause of death for 516,955 people in the U.S.
There’s no cure for it
Although there is no cure for hypertension, people can still prevent and manage it.
It affects both men and women
Hypertension can equally affect both men and women.
Only some have it under control
It is said that only around one in four adults (24%) with hypertension have their condition under control.
Why World Hypertension Day is Important
It can be dangerous
Hypertension can lead to strokes, heart failure, and dementia. World Hypertension Day is a reminder for us to get our blood pressure checked regularly to prevent hypertension.
To begin a healthy habit
Hypertension can happen to anyone, old or young. World Hypertension Day can be a starting point for us to follow the primary prevention of hypertension, including having an active lifestyle and eating more fruit and vegetables.
It has no cure
Hypertension has no cure yet, although it can be managed; however, it can be uncomfortable because you need to take medications until your blood pressure is under control or distressing for some. After all, they might need to keep taking blood pressure medications for the rest of their lives. It is still better to prevent it by practicing a healthy lifestyle.
World Hypertension Day dates