For the past 18 years, on calendars worldwide, 17 May has marked World Hypertension Day. This year’s theme is ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer’. The aim is to raise awareness, particularly in low- to middle-income areas, about the importance of hypertension control and the significance of accurate blood pressure measurement.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, remains a major global health concern. More than one billion people around the world are living with hypertension, with around two-thirds of these living in low- and low-middle-income countries. It is crucial to address low awareness rates and promote effective methods for measuring blood pressure. By doing so, we can empower individuals to take control of their health, reduce risks, and live longer healthier lives.
Hypertension is the medical term that is used to describe high blood pressure. Did you know that hypertension is one of the major causes of strokes, heart attacks, and kidney disease? It is even known to contribute to dementia.
One of the biggest challenges in tackling hypertension is that it often goes undetected, which is why it is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’. Many people with hypertension are unaware that they have it, so it is important to test your blood pressure regularly – do not wait until the signs are obvious, resulting in a heart attack or stroke!
Testing your blood pressure
Blood Pressure is calculated by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the resistance of the blood flow through your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
- Blood pressure > 130/80 mmHg is high
- Blood pressure between 140/80 mmHg and 155/99 mmHg is classified as hypertension
You can learn how to accurately measure blood pressure in this free course sponsored by WHO, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Hypertension League (WHL), and check the accuracy of your blood pressure monitor with this helpful online tool.
How do rehabilitation professionals help?
Rehabilitation professionals play a vital role in the management of hypertension. Alongside medication adherence, they provide crucial guidance on fitness and safe exercise practices, making exercise a primary prevention intervention. Aerobic exercise, recommended for at least 30 minutes per day combined with resistance exercise 2–3 days per week, has been shown to lower blood pressure effectively. Individuals can optimise their hypertension management and improve their overall health and well-being by working collaboratively with rehabilitation professionals.
Raised blood pressure remains a significant risk factor for global health. World Hypertension Day emphasises the importance of better hypertension control. Accurate blood pressure measurement and effective management can positively impact health and well-being. Let us work together to combat hypertension, ensuring a brighter future for individuals and communities worldwide.
Remember to share your knowledge and experiences on social media using the hashtags #HypertensionDay #WorldHypertensionDay. Together, let’s make a difference!