May 17 is World Hypertension Day. This global event aims to raise awareness about hypertension and promote effective blood pressure management. The theme for World Hypertension Day 2023 is "Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer."
Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Over one billion people are affected by this condition, and it poses a significant global health challenge. In particular, low- and middle-income countries bear a disproportionate burden, accounting for two-thirds of cases.
The major problem is that nearly half of the people with hypertension are unaware of their condition. It is a silent condition that often presents no symptoms. If left untreated, hypertension can increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Several risk factors contribute to this condition, including old age, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and excessive alcohol intake.
World Hypertension Day seeks to address these issues by increasing awareness and encouraging timely intervention and management of hypertension.
This year's focus is addressing low awareness rates, particularly in low to middle-income regions, and advocating for accurate blood pressure measurement methods. This campaign aims to improve health outcomes and extend patient lives by emphasising the importance of proper blood pressure monitoring and control.
World Hypertension Day was established by the World Hypertension League (WHL) and first originated on May 14, 2005. The theme back then was "Know Your Numbers!" Over the years, this global event has grown and is given significant importance and attention worldwide.
World Hypertension Day aims to raise public awareness about hypertension, its severe health complications, and the importance of prevention, detection, and treatment. The aim is to help people understand the need for increased collaboration between healthcare workers, volunteer organisations, governments and media. Several resources are available for people to benefit from, including free online courses on automated blood pressure measurement and guidelines for checking the accuracy of blood pressure monitors. These resources are available in multiple languages for people around the globe.
Sources: International Society of Hypertension, World Hypertension League, PAHO
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