Do you have hypertension better known as high blood pressure? You don’t know? Then you are not alone. It is estimated that 50% of people are unaware that they have high blood pressure. Worldwide, hypertension kills more than 10 million people every year; 2/3 of those affected live in developing countries.
And yet it is one of the easiest health issues to detect by simply getting your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
What makes high blood pressure so dangerous?
Fifty percent of all heart attacks and strokes are due to high blood pressure. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the World Health Organization has named hypertension as one of the biggest global health risks.
We need a specific level of blood pressure for the blood to circulate through our bodies. The pressure is considered too high when the value is above 140/90 when the body is resting. If this value is persistently higher than that over a longer period of time, it can harm the heart, brain and kidneys.
Moreover, as there are no clear warning signals that tell you that you have hypertension, high blood pressure is also referred to as a ‘silent killer’. However, issues that may alert you to possibly having hypertension are morning headaches, nosebleeds, chest pain or pounding in the chest, blood in urine, irregular heart rhythm, vision problems, buzzing in ears, fatigue and nausea.
Besides heart attack and stroke, prolonged hypertension can have serious other health consequences including dementia, kidney failure and vision loss.
What is World Hypertension Day?
World Hypertension Day (WHD) 2020 was postponed from May 17 to October 17 due to the COVID-19 crisis at the beginning of this year. WHD was founded by the World Hypertension League in 2005.
The organization seeks to increase the awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure, this year under the theme of Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer, building on their general call to Know Your Numbers. You only know if you are at risk or not, if you check your blood pressure numbers regularly.
How can I reduce the risk of high blood pressure?
There are some factors that cause hypertension that we cannot control, which include age and a family history of hypertension. However, there are other aspects that we can control:
- avoiding too much salt in our diet
- reducing weight
- limiting alcohol consumption
- eating more fruits and vegetables
- not smoking
Simply leading a healthy life can help prevent hypertension. Are you ready to make some changes and improve your quality of life with these simple adjustments to your lifestyle?
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