World Hypertension Day
World Hypertension Day is observed next on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 (161 days from today).
World Hypertension Day may sound like a stressful day that causes high blood pressure, but it's actually an educational event, designed to prevent cases of hypertension.
History of World Hypertension Day
World Hypertension Day is an initiative of the World Hypertension League (WHL), a division of the International Hypertension Society. WHL Day aims to raise public awareness of hypertension. The group launched the World Hypertension Day campaign for the first time on May 14th, 2005 but moved it to May 17th, 2006.
Founded by the World Hypertension Federation in 2005, the day aims to raise awareness about the condition and the issues surrounding it. Awareness of hypertension is considered extremely important, given the number of deaths related to heart attacks, kidney disease and strokes. There is a general lack of awareness about hypertension, which the WHL hopes will change.
The day usually follows a specific theme. For example, in the past, one of the topics was 'Healthy diet, healthy blood pressure', which aimed to increase people's understanding of how a poor diet can contribute to causes high blood pressure and how a healthier diet can help correct the problem.
Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer!
The burden of hypertension is disproportionately felt in low- and middle-income countries, where two-thirds of cases are largely attributable to increased risk factors within groups’ population in recent decades. Furthermore, about half of people living with hypertension are unaware of their condition, putting them at risk for avoidable medical complications and death. Accurate blood pressure (BP) measurement plays an important role in the proper diagnosis and management of hypertension. BP measurement is perhaps the most commonly performed procedure in clinical medicine, and although it may seem simple at first glance, today's suboptimal measurement method leads to a negative impact on management decisions in 20-45% of cases. Evaluating the healthcare worker performing BP measurement and how it can be improved are key elements of a successful hypertension control program. Join PAHO celebrating World Hypertension Day, participate in the webinar on Friday May 21st with the message “Accurate blood pressure measurement, control blood pressure, lives longer!” and share on your social media to spread and promote accurate blood pressure measurement around the world.
The purpose of the WHD
- To encourage the public to regularly check their blood pressure at least once a year.
- Encourage people worldwide with hypertension to have regular health check-ups and to take appropriate treatment.
- Encourage all public, especially youth and young adults to maintain a normal weight, normal cholesterol levels, normal blood pressure, healthy living, healthy eating, regular exercise, etc.
- Encourage people to give up bad habits such as drinking, inactivity, eating greasy, fried and spicy foods, smoking, obesity, overweight, etc.
Hypertension is high blood pressure. The force of blood flowing through your blood vessels is often too high. High blood pressure is sometimes called the 'silent killer' because it causes no symptoms and can go unnoticed and untreated for many years.
Hypertension is a public health epidemic.
- About 4 in 10 adults over the age of 25 have hypertension, and in many countries another fifth have prehypertension.
- An estimated 9 out of 10 adults who live to the age of 80 will have high blood pressure.
- Half of all blood pressure-related illnesses occur in people with blood pressure levels that are higher than even within the normal range.
What makes high blood pressure so dangerous?
Fifty percent of heart attacks and strokes are caused by high blood pressure. So it's no surprise that the World Health Organization has named hypertension one of the biggest global health risks.
We need a specific level of blood pressure in order for blood to circulate throughout the body. The pressure is considered too high when the value is above 140/90 when the body is at rest. If this value is consistently higher than that value for a long time, it can harm the heart, brain, and kidneys.
Furthermore, because there are no obvious warning signs to tell you that you have high blood pressure, high blood pressure is also known as a "silent killer". However, problems that can alert you to possible high blood pressure are morning headaches, nosebleeds, chest pain or pounding in your chest, blood in your urine, irregular heartbeats, and problems with your breathing, vision, tinnitus, fatigue and nausea.
Besides heart attack and stroke, prolonged high blood pressure can have other serious health consequences including dementia, kidney failure and vision loss.
How to reduce the risk of high blood pressure
There are a number of factors that contribute to high blood pressure that we cannot control, including age and a family history of hypertension. However, there are other aspects we can control:
- Avoid too much salt in our diet
- Weight loss
- Limit alcohol intake
- Do exercise
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- No smoking
Just living a healthy life can help prevent high blood pressure. Ready to make some changes and improve the quality of your life with these simple adjustments to your lifestyle?
How to celebrate World Hypertension Day
- Check your blood pressure. Some drug stores have do-it-yourself drug testing stations.
- Learn more at the International Hypertension Society website.
- Try to exercise more and eat better to fight high blood pressure.
ObservedWorld Hypertension Day has been observed annually on May 17th.
Monday, May 17th, 2021
Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
Friday, May 17th, 2024
Saturday, May 17th, 2025