World Hypertension Day is celebrated every year on the 17th of May to raise public awareness about hypertension, its preventive measures, and complications. It was first celebrated on the 14th of May in the year 2005 organized by the World Hypertension League (WHL).
World Hypertension Day 2019
World Hypertension Day 2019 was celebrated by the people all through the world on the 17th of May, Friday.
World Hypertension Day 2019 theme was “Know Your Numbers” aimed at raising awareness regarding high blood pressure.
The University of Cumbria organized a free checkup camp on the occasion with an aim of raising awareness on high blood pressure and saving the lives of the people suffering from hypertension.
International Society of Hypertension (ISH) organized 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 the ‘Merck Hypertension Award’. The award will provide an opportunity for the winners to study Post Graduate Diploma in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the 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.
What is Hypertension
Hypertension is a condition called high blood pressure during which the arterial blood pressure raises to a high level from the normal level (120/80 mmHg). It is a medical condition called as the silent killer as it does not show any clear symptoms however severe hypertension shows 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 into two types (primary or essential hypertension and secondary hypertension) on the basis of its causing factors. The primary hypertension is a 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 that 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 a blood clot in the brain (stroke), heart attack, aneurysm, kidney failure, heart failure, eye damage and etc.
It is easy to get prevented from primary hypertension however secondary hypertension is a severe condition that 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.
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 hypertension. It aimed to fill the gap of the lack of appropriate knowledge among people about hypertension and people suffering from it. WHL had launched the campaign of World Hypertension Day the first time on the 14th of May in 2005 however it was started celebrating dedicatedly every year on the 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 the common public. High Blood Pressure means hypertension causes various complications in the body and may lead to a major risk to the heart, stroke, kidney disease, eye disorders, coma or even death. Blood pressure can be measured at home or hospital using an acceptable measuring device called the 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 the people globally are suffering from hypertension and the most surprising thing is 50% of them are totally unaware of their condition and some of them who are aware of their condition does not take any medical action for their blood pressure. Some of the objectives of celebrating this campaign on an annual basis are mentioned below:
- To motivate the common public for regular checkups of their blood pressure at least once a year.
- To encourage the people having hypertension on a global basis to go to their health practitioner for a 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 checkups 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, its complications, how to maintain normal blood pressure, weight and healthy lifestyle.
- To encourage all the medical professionals for providing proper treatment and regular checkups to their patients.
- To bring a revolution among the common public for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits for whole life.
- To set up more hospitals and health centers in the vulnerable areas for the ease of the common public.
- To promote early detection, prevention, and control of arterial hypertension in vulnerable populations.
How World Hypertension Day is Celebrated
World Hypertension Day is dedicatedly celebrated every year on the 17th of May since 2005 to raise the common public awareness about hypertension through a 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 a 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 the international level. It has been recommended by the WHL that BP should be less than 140/90 mmHg for the 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:
- The theme for 2005 was “Awareness of high blood pressure”.
- The theme for 2006 was “Treat to the goal” focusing to keep blood pressure under control.
- The theme for 2007 was “Healthy diet, healthy blood pressure”.
- The theme for 2008 was “Measure your blood pressure…at home”.
- The theme for 2009 was “Salt and High Blood Pressure: Two Silent Killers”.
- The theme for 2010 was “Healthy Weight – Healthy Blood Pressure”.
- The theme for 2011 was “Know Your Numbers and Target Your Blood Pressure”.
- The theme for 2012 was “Healthy Lifestyle-Healthy Blood Pressure”.
- The theme for 2013 was “Healthy Heart Beat-Healthy Blood Pressure”.
- The theme for 2014 was “Know Your Blood Pressure”.
- The theme for 2015 was “Know Your Blood Pressure”.
- The theme for 2016 was “Know Your Blood Pressure”.
- The theme for 2017 was “Know Your Blood Pressure”.
- The theme for 2018 was “Know Your Numbers with a goal of increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world”.
- The theme for 2019 is – “Know Your Numbers”.