World Hypertension Day 2023 is observed annually on the 17th of May worldwide by the World Hypertension League (WHL). This year’s WHD theme is ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer’ and it mainly targets to educate the public and increase awareness of hypertension or high blood pressure and focus on accurate BP measurement.
Often dubbed as a ‘silent killer’, Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is a common heart anomaly agonizing almost 26% of the world populace wherein the arterial blood pressure increases to elevated levels ultimately leading to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and even death. Although there can be plenty of contributors towards high blood pressure, the most common ones include sedentary lifestyle, excessive sodium intake, obesity, age, family history, lifestyle habits, smoking, stress, etc.
An optimum blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm Hg (i.e., mercury); where the upper number indicates the systolic pressure (i.e., pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and gets filled with blood) and the lower number cites the diastolic pressure (i.e., pressure in the arteries when the heart is in a resting phase in between two beats).
The higher the force of the blood, the more the arteries stretch and allow blood to pass through it. When this force is constantly high for a longer time duration, the tissues that make the wall of the arteries stretch far beyond their healthy limit, and therefore, get damaged.
Lifestyle adjustments are the standard, first-line treatment for hypertension. We outline some recommendations here:
Regular physical exercise
Avoiding or learning to manage stress can help a person control blood pressure. Meditation, warm baths, yoga, and simply going on long walks are relaxation techniques that can help relieve stress.
Reducing salt intake
Moderating alcohol consumption
Eating more fruit and vegetables and less fat
Managing body weight