Did you know that hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and diseases across the world?
Unsurprisingly, a healthy lifestyle greatly reduces your chances of getting high blood pressure. Nevertheless, just under half of all adults over age 25 have high blood pressure which often goes undiagnosed, so many people still have much to learn if they are to keep their blood pressure safely at bay.
The World Hypertension League (WHL) launched World Hypertension Day (WHD) in 2005 in a bid to raise public awareness about hypertension throughout the world.
How you can help
On 17 May, this year’s theme is ‘Know your Blood Pressure’ and it encourages people to take five minutes to participate in the Global hypertension Awareness Survey. This will increase hypertension awareness levels and help generate the latest worldwide statistics. In addition, The International Society for Hypertension (ISH) has issued a series of posters to highlight all the facts about blood pressure. You can download these here and put them up to view in public areas or during activities you are organising on the day.
The facts about hypertension
It’s alarming to think that 90 per cent of over 80-year-olds suffer from high blood pressure, many of whom are unaware or choose to ignore the fact that hypertension could one day become the cause of their death.
Professor Mike Rich, executive director of the UK’s Blood Pressure Association says: “Every day there are 350 preventable strokes or heart attacks in the UK due to high blood pressure. This research highlights the continuing need for us to help the 16 million people in the UK who have high blood pressure, including the third who do not even know they have it.”
The ISH offers several more interesting facts which should encourage you to pop down to your nearest centre for a blood pressure test.
Getting tested is quick, easy and painless
Getting your blood pressure tested takes a matter of minutes. Simply go to your GP, a health clinic, your local pharmacy or even use a home testing kit – you might be glad you did… and don’t be afraid to adopt some healthy lifestyle changes if necessary.