World Hypertension Day (WHD)

Hypertension, better known as high blood pressure, has become most common lifestyle diseases prevalent today. May 17 of every year is observed as World Hypertension Day (WHD) to spread awareness about hypertension among the general public. This awareness among general public helps to prevent and control this silent killer.

Hypertension is essentially a long-term medical condition in which the force of the blood is too high against the artery walls. Commonly, this affects one in three Indian adults and is estimated that it kills 2.6 lakh people each year.

Interestingly, the latest data unveils that the condition is high among medical fraternity. The reports state that more than 50 percent doctors are suffering from uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure (BP). On the other hand, the numbers of patients of 20-30 years age group are growing due to an unhealthy lifestyle.

The known fact is that hypertension increases the risk of strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, chronic kidney disease and vascular dementia, etc.

Usually, blood pressure above 140/90 is defined as hypertension. If the pressure is above 180/120, it is considered as severe. You can have high blood pressure might have for years without any symptoms, which to complications resulted from the narrowing of blood vessels. Thus, hypertension is referred to as ‘the silent killer’.

Screening blood pressure regularly can help to reduce risk as people with hypertension have no signs or symptoms. Few people with high blood pressure may get affected with shortness of breath or nosebleeds and headaches.

However, high blood pressure can be easily identified and controlled with the help of a doctor. It is unknown about the causes of hypertension, but certain things are considered to increase your risk.

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • not getting enough sleep
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Smoking
  • A salt-rich diet
  • Age -Over the age of 65
  • Race - African-American adults are at higher risk than white or Hispanic American adults
  • Family history of the disease

Healthy lifestyle habits help in reducing the risks of developing hypertension. Besides that, it also helps in lowering the blood pressure even if it’s already high.