In May 2005, the first world hypertension day was celebrated to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage people from all parts of the world to rally together to prevent and control this silent killer of mankind. Every year, May 17 is dedicated to World Hypertension Day.

This year’s theme is “Know Your Number.” This year campaign is aimed to increase awareness on high blood pressure across the world. According to WHO, increased blood pressure is the leading risk factor for disability and death globally.

Hypertension is a public health epidemic, approximately 4 in 10 adults over age 25 have hypertension and in many countries another 1 in 5 adults have pre-hypertension. An estimated 9/10 adults living to 80 years of age will develop hypertension. One half of blood pressure related disease occurs in people with higher levels of blood pressure even within the normal range. Increased blood pressure was the cause of 50% of heart disease, stroke and heart failure, 13% of deaths overall and over 40% of deaths in people with diabetes. Hypertension is a leading risk for fetal and maternal death in pregnancy, dementia, and renal failure which cause over 9 million deaths annually.

According to World Hypertension League, unhealthy diet is estimated to be related to about half of hypertension. About 30% related to increased salt consumption, and about 20% related to low dietary potassium (low fruit and vegetables). Physical inactivity is related to about 20% of hypertension. Obesity is related to about 30% of hypertension. In other words, unhealthy lifestyle contributes immensely to increased blood pressure.

This year’s theme, know your number is relevant to the fight against high blood pressure. Checking your blood pressure is the first step towards winning the war against hypertension. Unfortunately, most individuals with hypertension are unaware that their blood pressure is high.

We advocate for healthy public policies especially those that reduce dietary salt/sodium and promote healthy diets and smoking cessation.

We urge you to go and check your blood pressure and develop the habit of checking it regularly. Ignorance is not an excuse in the court of health where justice is based on our actions and inaction concerning our lifestyle.

Happy 2018 World Hypertension Day.

Anakor Anthony
New Heights Pharma

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