World Hypertension Day 2022 was celebrated by the people all through the world on 17th of May, Tuesday.
World Hypertension Day 2022 theme was “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer” aimed at raising awareness regarding high blood pressure.
University of Cumbria (Carlisle, England, United Kingdom) organized a free checkup camp on the occasion with an aim of raising awareness on high blood pressure and saving lives of the people suffering from hypertension.
International Society of Hypertension (ISH) organised May Measurement Month (MMM) this year also which is an awareness campaign aimed at educating people to know their blood pressure numbers and to take preventive measures in case of hypertension.
Merck Foundation observed the day by building a hypertension care facility in Africa and Asia and also by giving ‘Merck Hypertension Award’. The award will provide an opportunity to the winners to study Post Graduate Diploma in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at University of Wales.
Various hospitals and healthcare institutions observed the day by organizing free screening camps in their premises and at nearby locations. The camps helped people to know more about hypertension and the preventive measures to fight it.
Hypertension is a condition called high blood pressure during which the arterial blood pressure raises to high level from the normal level (120/80 mmHg). It is medical condition called as silent killer as it does not show any clear symptoms however severe hypertension show some symptoms of headaches, sleepiness, palpitation, blurred vision, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, ringing sensation in the ears, breathing difficulty, irregular heartbeat which may lead to even coma.
It is divided in two types (primary or essential hypertension and secondary hypertension) on the basis of its causing factors. The primary hypertension is more common type however its causes are unknown. Whereas, causes of secondary hypertension are kidney damage, adrenal gland over-activity, sleep apnea syndrome, tumors, recreational drugs, thyroid gland dysfunctioning, aortic coarctation, pregnancy-related conditions, over or wrong medications, alcoholic drinks, bad food and etc.
It is also an inheritable disease which can be inherited to children from parents having hypertension or family history of diabetes, obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, excess alcohol drink, use of oral contraceptive pills and etc. Its complications are atherosclerosis means narrowing of arteries, brain hemorrhage means blood clot in brain (stroke), heart attack, aneurysm, kidney failure, heart failure, eye damage and etc.
It is easy to get prevented from the primary hypertension however secondary hypertension is severe condition which can be managed and cured if treated well. It needs to change some lifestyles and following healthy living habits (avoid smoking and alcohol, low sodium intake of 1.5 to 2.5 g, low-fat and high-fiber diet, fruits and green vegetables, proper physical exercise, aerobics, healthy weight, regular pulse and BP check, reduce stress, low bad cholesterol level, healthy family history and etc) to well treat the condition.
Simple tips to ensure accurate blood pressure measurement
“India has a high prevalence of hypertension with almost one in every three Indian adults above the age of 60 being affected. The estimated prevalence of hypertension in our country is 29.8 per cent,” said Dr S N Narasingan
Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when the blood pressure increases to undesirable levels. It is the increased force exerted by blood against the walls of the artery. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure is defined by a level greater than 130/80 mm Hg or 140/90 mm Hg, according to various guidelines.
“It is known as the silent killer. High blood pressure can cause significant damage to the brain, heart, kidneys and blood vessels. This can lead to a stroke, heart attack including heart failure and kidney failure, if not diagnosed early and treated appropriately,” said Dr S N Narasingan, President, Indian Society of Hypertension, Board Member World Hypertension League.
He added that India has a high prevalence of hypertension with almost one in every three Indian adults above the age of 60 being affected. The estimated prevalence of hypertension in our country is 29.8 per cent. This indicates how critical it is to treat and manage hypertension. Not only is the early detection of high blood pressure important but accurate measurement of BP in hypertensive people is very significant as it gives a clear picture of the cardiovascular risk.
“This is a big deal as a lot of people have BP that is on the borderline of having hypertension, and these small errors in BP measurements can sway one away from a proper diagnosis and treatment with the right medication. On the other hand, misreading true BP by even a minor mm Hg has the potential to mislabel someone as having high BP, resulting in unnecessary medication,” Dr Narasingan told.
Hypertensive people usually get their BP checked through a health care provider in a clinic, at a pharmacy that offers to measure BP, or at home with a BP monitor. While measuring BP is one of the most common procedures there is often a chance to get inaccurate readings.
On World Hypertension Day, Dr Narasingan lists a few key tips to ensure accurate BP measurement.
- The correct sized BP cuff needs to be put on the bare arm, putting the BP cuff over clothing can result in an increased reading
- Having an empty bladder is important, a full bladder can exaggerate BP readings
- Talking while taking BP readings should be avoided by the patient and the caretaker
- The arm should be supported at the level of the heart
- The back should be supported
- Sitting with uncrossed legs and feet should be on the floor
- Intake of food, caffeine, smoking and consumption of alcohol should be avoided 30 minutes before measurement
- In the case of home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM), minimum of three readings to be recorded and the average of the last two readings can be considered as the blood pressure
“These protocols are simple yet necessary and can go a long way in patient preparation and also help physicians, patients and the general public to get accurate BP measurement inside and outside clinical settings. As we are witnessing a pandemic the physicians are using digital platforms for consultation. Hence, HBPM is mandatory for every hypertensive patient which will enable the physicians to control the BP effectively and reduce the health risks,” he said.
World Hypertension Day History
Celebrating World Hypertension Day all over the world was established and started by The World Hypertension League (WHL). WHL is a health organization lead around 85 national hypertension societies and associations worldwide. It had started the campaign of hypertension day to increase the common public awareness about the hypertension. It aimed to fill the gap of the lack of appropriate knowledge among people about the hypertension and people suffering of it. WHL had launched the campaign of World Hypertension Day first time on 14th of May in 2005 however it was started celebrating dedicatedly every year on 17th of May since 2006.
Why World Hypertension Day is celebrated
World Hypertension Day is celebrated annually since 2005 to distribute the message of maintenance of normal blood pressure among common public. High Blood Pressure means hypertension causes various complications in the body and may lead to the major risk to the heart, stroke, kidney disease, eye disorders, coma or even death. Blood pressure can be measured at home or hospital using acceptable measuring device called BP apparatus.
According to the statistics, it is noted that around 3 out of ten people are suffering from hypertension worldwide. Approximately 1.8 billion of the people globally are suffering from hypertension and the most surprise thing is 50% of them are totally unaware of their condition and some of them who are aware of their condition do not take any medical action for their blood pressure. Some of the objectives of celebrating this campaign on annual basis are mentioned below:
- To motivate the common public for regular checkup of their blood pressure at least once a year.
- To encourage the people having hypertension on global basis to go to their health practitioner for regular checkup and proper treatment.
- To promote all the common public especially youths and young people to maintain their normal weight, normal cholesterol level, normal blood pressure, healthy living, healthy eating, regular physical exercise and etc.
- To encourage people to leave their bad habits like drinking alcohol, lazy routine, oily and fatty diet, fried and spicy diet, smoking, obese, overweight and etc.
- To motivate the people for regular checkup of their health and blood pressure by providing them an environment through free blood pressure checkup camp.
- To aware common public about the blood pressure, high blood pressure, it complications, how to maintain normal blood pressure, weight and healthy life style.
- To encourage all the medical professionals for providing proper treatment and regular checkup to their patient.
- To bring a revolution among common public for maintaining the healthy life style and healthy habits for whole life.
- To setup more hospitals and health centers in the vulnerable areas for the ease of common public.
- To promote early detection, prevention and control of the arterial hypertension in the vulnerable populations.
How World Hypertension Day is celebrated?
World Hypertension Day is dedicatedly celebrated every year on 17th of May since 2005 to raise the common public awareness about the hypertension through the variety of activities and events. Health professionals and medical professionals from the government and non-government organizations participate in the campaign celebration and support in organizing lots of events for easily understanding of the public.
Some of the activities which are getting organized on annual celebration of the campaign are public forum, debates on the subjects of high blood pressure, brisk walk or run activities, health screening, free blood pressure checkup camp, media write-up, banners and poster distribution in the schools, colleges and other educational institutions, discussions, quiz competitions in the schools and colleges, messages distribution through the TV and radio channels and lots of other activities.
Meeting of the medical professional expertise and advisers are held for highlighting the common problems of hypertension on national and international level, discussing the new and most easy preventive and control measures for the people with hypertension.
World Hypertension Day Theme:
World Hypertension Day is celebrated every year using a particular theme of the year selected by the World Hypertension League to make the campaign more effective on international level. It has been recommended by the WHL that BP should be less than 140/90 mmHg for general population and hypertensive population without complications whereas for people with diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease, it should be less than 130/80 mmHg. Some of the year wise themes are mentioned below:
- 2005: Awareness of high blood pressure
- 2006: Treat to goal focusing to keep blood pressure under control
- 2007: Healthy diet, healthy blood pressure
- 2008: Measure your blood pressure… at home
- 2009: Salt and High Blood Pressure: Two Silent Killers
- 2010: Healthy Weight – Healthy Blood Pressure
- 2011: Know Your Numbers and Target Your Blood Pressure
- 2012: Healthy Lifestyle – Healthy Blood Pressure
- 2013: Healthy Heart Beat – Healthy Blood Pressure
- 2014: Know Your Blood Pressure
- 2015: Know Your Blood Pressure
- 2016: Know Your Blood Pressure
- 2017: Know Your Blood Pressure
- 2018: Know Your Numbers with a goal of increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world
- 2019: Know Your Numbers
- 2020: Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer
- 2021: Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer