World Hypertension Day 2019: Follow These Steps to Bid Adieu To Hypertension

World Hypertension Day 2019 theme Know your numbers focuses on making sure people check their blood pressure regularly and know their numbers in order to take necessary action on time.

Umang Sharma
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May 17 is observed as World Hypertension Day every year. Rapidly surging hypertension has become a medical and public health problem in today's time. Hypertension has become a cause of worry for everyone. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which there is a long-term high force of blood against artery walls. The force is high enough to cause numerous health problems like heart disease and stroke. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood heart pumps and the amount of resistance blood flow in arteries. The more blood your heart pumps the narrower your arteries and the higher your blood pressure. Hypertension is also called ‘the silent killer’ because high blood pressure often causes no symptoms for a long time.

The theme of World Hypertension Day 2019 is "Know your numbers". This year’s theme focuses on making sure people check their blood pressure regularly and know their numbers in order to take necessary action on time.

Knowing one’s numbers is important because high blood pressure is a condition which can remain unknown for years due to lack of symptoms. Normal blood pressure levels range between 120/80 to 140/90. If you are above the age of 18, you must check your blood pressure regularly (at least once in 2 months).

On the occasion of World Hypertension Day, Senior Cardiologist of Asian Heart Institute, Dr. Santosh Kumar Dora shares heart-healthy tips to help keep your blood pressure in check.

How To Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Check

Some people may not realise they have high blood pressure until they experience a heart attack, a stroke, kidney damage or other serious health problems. Unregulated hypertension also increases the risk of erectile dysfunction in young men. Therefore, regular blood pressure check-ups are necessary. Patients who suffer from an existing condition of hypertension apart from checking their blood pressure, need to follow intake of prescribed medication regularly.

Data reveals that the prevalence of hypertension among the urban middle class is 32 percent in men and 30 percent in women. One should try every possible means to prevent hypertension as there is no complete cure for it. Lifestyle modification is a very important medium here. 

Useful Recommendations To Prevent And/Or Treat Hypertension

Follow A DASH Diet

healthy eating

The diet should contain low fat, less salt and more vegetables and fruits along with whole grain cereals. The DASH (Dietary approach to stop hypertension) eating pattern helps in preventing hypertension which consists of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, no fat or low-fat milk and milk products, whole grain foods, fish, poultry, beans and seeds, as well as unsalted nuts.


No Substitute For Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is as important as taking medicines. Physical exercise does not only help control your blood pressure but also aids weight loss, blood sugar regulation and effective stress management- all of which are key for a healthy heart. One should do aerobic exercises on a regular basis for around 45 minutes to 1 hour daily for at least 5 days a week. Exercises such as brisk walking, stair climbing, jogging, running and swimming can help you stay fit.

Weight Loss Is A must

maintain body weight

Obesity is one of the major risk factors for high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Your blood pressure can rise with an increase in body weight. On the other hand, even a small amount of weight loss can help to prevent as well as regulate high blood pressure. Weight is considered healthy when the body mass index is between 20 to 25.

Managing Stress

Mayo Clinic suggests that even though there is no proof that stress by itself causes long-term blood pressure, however reacting to it in unhealthy ways can increase your risk of hypertension. For example, stress-inducing habits such as smoking, drinking and junk food consumption can have cascading effects on your blood pressure. Therefore, one should know how to manage stress. Yoga, meditation, adequate sleep and positive thinking are some of the strategies to manage your stress. Yoga can improve sleep, reduce stress hormone levels in the body which helps in bringing down the blood pressure.  If needed one should consult a stress management expert for advice.

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Avoid Alcohol

Excess alcohol consumption can lead to hypertension. It is better to completely avoid alcohol. If consumed, it is advisable to limit the intake to one or two drinks per week only.

Say No To Smoking

quit smoking

Smoking is a risk factor for many other diseases including hypertension and should be stopped completely. Research suggests that each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. For your overall health and to reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke, avoid all forms of tobacco as well as passive smoking.


Know Your Numbers

As one age, hypertension becomes almost inevitable. The prevalence of hypertension increases with advancing age to the point of being 50 percent in people within the range of 60–69 years of age and approximately 75 percent in those being 70 years of age and older.  Therefore, it is important to track your BP. It is preferable to have a BP monitor at home, especially if elderly people are at home. Home BP monitor usually comes in a digital format. Many companies produce home BP monitors. However, they should be calibrated at regular intervals to maintain their accuracy.

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