THEME: Measure your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control it, Live Longer!
World Hypertension Day is observed yearly to raise awareness about the silent killer. The aim of this day is to create awareness, educate the public about hypertension commonly known as high blood pressure. This year’s 2021 theme is, Measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer.
Hypertension affects more than 30% of the adult population worldwide, more than one billion people around the world. It is the main risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary heart disease and stroke, but also for chronic kidney disease, heart failure, arrhythmia, and dementia. (WHO)
The burden of hypertension is felt disproportionately in low- and middle-income countries, where two-thirds of cases are found, largely due to increased risk factors in those populations in recent decades. What’s more, around half of the people living with hypertension are unaware of their condition, putting them at risk of avoidable medical complications and death. Accurate blood pressure (BP) measurement is essential for the proper diagnosis and management of hypertension. BP measurement is perhaps the most commonly performed procedure in clinical medicine and, although it seems simple at first glance, current suboptimal measurement leads to negatively impacting clinical management decisions in 20 – 45% of cases. (WHO).
CAUSES OF HYPERTENSION
The most common cause of high blood pressure includes smoking, obesity, diabetics, having a sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, high salt or alcohol intake, insufficient consumption of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, vitamin D deficiency, stress, aging. Some individuals may also be genetically predisposed to hypertension.
Some people with high blood pressure may not have symptoms, while few numbers may have a headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, or nose bleed, this usually occurs at a severe stage.
Hypertension if left uncontrolled or not treated at the right time can lead to serious health crises like stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and even death.
Hypertension is diagnosed by a health care professional who uses a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. However, the results of a sphygmomanometer measurement may be skewed by stress, so further inquiry about family history and other risk factors is often required to make a complete and accurate diagnosis. When hypertension is suspected, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, or blood tests may be used to further evaluate the heart or identify possible causes of secondary hypertension.
TREATMENT AND CONTROL
Hypertension is treated by changing lifestyle factors including physical exercise, stress management, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet with less salt. Pharmaceutical interventions include ACE inhibitors, ARB drugs, beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, alpha-blockers, and peripheral vasodilators.
The best way to prevent hypertension is to eat healthy, and get exercise. Reduction of stress, salt intake and alcohol intake are also helpful ways to prevent hypertension. Regular medical chech-up with your health care provider is also very important.