World Hypertension Day is established by the World Hypertension League with the support of the World Health Organization and has been held annually since 2005 on the second Saturday of May. In 2020, World Hypertension Day falls on May 9.
The purpose of this day is to raise public awareness of serious complications of arterial hypertension, disseminate information about how to prevent the development of this disease.
Blood pressure is considered elevated or high if systolic blood pressure is equal to or greater than 140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure are equal to or greater than 90 mm Hg.
There are up to 1.5 billion people in the world suffering from arterial hypertension, and almost half of them are unaware of their illness. Meanwhile, arterial hypertension is one of the most common causes of heart attacks, strokes, vision loss.
The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of damage to the heart or blood vessels in major organs, such as the brain or kidneys. Hypertension is the most important preventable cause of heart disease and stroke worldwide. Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart attack, enlarged heart disease, and eventually heart failure. Hypertension can also lead to kidney failure, blindness, and cognitive impairment.
The health effects of hypertension can be amplified by other factors that increase the likelihood of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. These factors include tobacco use, unhealthy diets, harmful use of alcohol, lack of physical activity, and persistent stress, as well as obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
All adults need to control their blood pressure, know their blood pressure – it’s important. In case of high blood pressure, it is necessary to consult a medical professional.
For some people, to normalize blood pressure, it is enough to change their lifestyle – stop using tobacco, switch to a healthy diet, regularly engage in physical activity, and avoid harmful use of alcohol. This may also be facilitated by reducing salt intake.
For other people, such changes are not enough, and they need medications to regulate blood pressure.
Adults should support treatment by following medical prescriptions and monitoring their health. People with high blood pressure who also have high blood sugar, elevated blood cholesterol, or kidney problems are at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, it is important to regularly check blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and protein levels in the urine.
To minimize the risk of developing high blood pressure and its adverse effects, each person can take five specific steps:
- Organize a healthy diet: reduce salt intake to less than 5 g per day (just under one teaspoon); eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day; Reduce saturated fat intake and overall fat intake.
- Avoid harmful use of alcohol.
- Engage in physical activity: regularly maintain physical activity and encourage the physical activity of children and young people (minimum, 30 minutes a day); Maintain normal weight: Losing every 5 kg of excess weight can help reduce systolic blood pressure by 2-10 points.
- Stop tobacco use and exposure to tobacco products.
- Manage stress in healthy ways such as meditation, proper exercise, and positive social contact.