World Hypertension Day 2018
Know Your Numbers
Did you know that hypertension is the main risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of mortality worldwide? Over 8 million people die each year worldwide, due to hypertension.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is commonly referred to as high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force exerted byblood on the blood vessel walls (arteries) as the blood is pumped by the heart.
High or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of blood against the arteries is consistently high. This condition can lead to:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Heart attack
- Kidney disease
About World Hypertension Day
In May 2005, the world hypertension day was initiated after the world hypertension league realised that over 50% of people living with hypertension worldwide, at that time, had no knowledge of their condition. That is why hypertension is also referred to as the silent killer because it has no symptoms which makes it hard for people living with it to be aware.
The World Hypertension Day is aimed at promoting awareness on hypertension and encouraging people around the world to prevent and control this disease. Every year has a specific theme and this year’s theme; know your numbers, is set to encourage people to get screened for hypertension.
Since last year, the entire month of May, termed May Measurement Month (MMM) aims at screening as many adults as possible especially those who have not had their blood pressure checked for at least a year. The data collected from that screening, will be used to show the need for governments around the world to have improved screening facilities and treatments for their citizens.
As high blood pressure has no symptoms, it is crucial for people to get screened regularly to start treatment early and avoid unnecessary heart attacks, strokes or even death. Even though this disease has no cure, early diagnosis enables for one to get the right treatment and to make adjustments that help in controlling the condition. Hypertension medications include:
- Beta blocker which slows the heart rate and decreases blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitor which relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and prevents diabetes-related kidney damage.
- Calcium channel blocker that relaxes the blood vessels.
- Diuretic which increases urine production getting rid of excess salt and water.
Apart from medications, high blood pressure can be controlled by making lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Doing regular exercises
- Reducing salt intake
This world hypertension day, get yourself and your loved ones screened for high blood pressure. Spread the word on the importance of screening to friends and save lives. Get screened and get rid of this global modern-day epidemic.