Explainer: World Hypertension day, measure and manage your Blood Pressure

World Hypertension Day is observed every year on May 17th to raise awareness about high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

| Updated: 17 May, 2024 3:59 pm IST

NEW DELHI: World Hypertension Day is observed every year on May 17th to raise awareness about high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This day highlights the importance of preventing, detecting, and controlling hypertension to reduce the risk of heart disease and early death.

Hypertension is a major health issue affecting over one billion people worldwide. It is a major risk factor for heart disease and disability, accounting for around 7.5 million deaths annually. Many hypertensive individuals are unaware that they have the condition, which increases their risk of developing major health issues.

India’s Efforts to Combat Hypertension

In India, the government has set a goal to reduce the number of people with high blood pressure by 25% by 2025. To achieve this, they launched the India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI), which aims to provide better treatment to over 220 million people with hypertension. This project is critical since rising risk factors in recent decades have led to two-thirds of instances of hypertension worldwide occurring in low- and middle-income nations, including India.

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Theme for This Year: “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”

The theme for this year’s World Hypertension Day is “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.” This emphasizes the importance of regularly checking blood pressure and managing it effectively to lead a healthier life. Several factors increase the risk of hypertension, including high intake of salt, use of tobacco and alcohol, unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, stress, and air pollution.

To combat hypertension, it is important to reduce these risk factors by controlling tobacco use, reducing salt intake, eliminating trans fats, promoting exercise and cutting down air pollution. Additionally, improving hypertension management in primary healthcare, monitoring national progress, setting clear targets, integrating hypertension services with other health programs, and empowering individuals and communities to take care of their health are vital steps.

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Encouraging practices such as promoting low sodium diets, reducing tobacco and alcohol use, exercising regularly, and checking blood pressure periodically are essential.

Improving the prevention and control of hypertension is vital for better health outcomes and can save many lives. It also supports economic benefits and progress toward global health goals. This year’s World Hypertension Day serves as a reminder for everyone to take action to prevent and manage high blood pressure to ensure a healthier future.

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