World Hypertension Day is celebrated internationally each year on May 17. The main purpose of observing this day is to raise awareness and educate the public about hypertension. Hypertension is commonly known as high blood pressure. Hypertension is a major cause of a range of health problems such as strokes, heart attacks, and kidney disease, and can also contribute to dementia.
This day is organised by the World Hypertension League (WHL) which is an umbrella organisation composed of 85 hypertension societies and leagues from all over the world. Though the day is observed on May 17 globally, the World Hypertension League has announced that it will postpone the celebration of World Hypertension Day 2020 until October 17, 2020, due to global COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Hypertension Day Theme 2020 is 'Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer' which basically means checking your blood pressure. This has picked as the theme for 2020 because the World Hypertension League wants to encourage as many people as possible to measure their blood pressure. They also aim to raise awareness about the importance of regularly measuring of blood pressure and knowing its normal levels. For this initiative, volunteer-manned screening sites will be set up in a range of venues around the world to check the blood pressure of as many people as possible.
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance for blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher will be your blood pressure. Hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure equal to or above 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure equal to or above 90 mm Hg.
High Blood pressure is also tagged as the 'Silent Killer' because many people who suffer from hypertension are not aware that they have it as there can be no symptoms. People mostly only find out after suffering a heart attack or stroke. An unhealthy lifestyle can heavily affect your blood pressure and increase the risk of high blood pressure. The main contributors to the rise in hypertension are unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.