World Hypertension Day 2024: Theme, significance and history; everything to know about May 17

Every year, May 17th is observed as World Hypertension Day with the main agenda to spread awareness about hypertension and its effects on the human body. It is said that prolonged hypertension puts a person at a higher risk of various medical conditions, including chronic kidney disease, stroke, heart failure, etc.Some of the major causes of hypertension in young people are high stress levels, obesity, poor dietary habits, and a sedentary lifestyle. 

Do you know what causes hypertension?

It occurs when there is an abnormally high blood pressure exerted on the arterial walls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report states that high blood pressure often occurs gradually. Unhealthy lifestyle decisions, including not engaging in enough regular physical activity, can lead to it. Obesity and diabetes are two more medical problems that might raise the risk of high blood pressure.

As you may know, one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease is hypertension, or high blood pressure. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified it as “the number one killer” in the World Health Report in 2002. Also, it is said that the risk of stroke is four times greater and the risk of myocardial infarction (a heart attack) is two times greater if the blood pressure is high as compared to the normal blood pressure. 

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Additionally, The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that the rise of the processed food sector has affected the global intake of salt, which is a key contributor to hypertension. Consequently, it’s critical to limit salt intake to lower the risk of hypertension because consuming more salt may raise blood pressure.

World Hypertension Day 2024: Theme 

To raise public awareness of hypertension, its causes, prevention, and effective blood pressure management strategies, the World Hypertension League (WHL), an umbrella organization of 85 national hypertension societies and leagues designates particular topics for World Hypertension Day each year. Their report states that more than 50% of the hypertensive population worldwide are unaware of their condition. In order to have a bigger influence on health outcomes, WHL invites its partners and members to take part in World Hypertension Day through blood pressure checks, rallies, local gatherings, news releases, and awareness initiatives conducted all around the globe. 

This year World Hypertension Day is celebrated under the theme “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, and Live Longer”, with an emphasis on:

    • Fighting the poor global awareness of hypertension, particularly in low- and middle-income countries

    • Encouraging precise techniques for measuring blood pressure

    • Sharing with the public the significance of hypertension and the major medical consequences it can cause

    • Providing guidance on managing, detecting, and preventing hypertension

Origin and significance

The first World Hypertension Day was launched on May 14, 2005, by the WHL. May 17 has been observed globally as World Hypertension Day since 2006. Many people are ignorant of the symptoms of hypertension and the steps that can be taken to prevent it.

According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, more national societies have taken part in World Hypertension Day over the past three years and have employed innovative strategies to raise public awareness. 

In 2007, there was record participation from 47 member countries of the WHL. All of these nations worked with their local governments, professional societies, non- governmental organizations, and commercial enterprises to raise public awareness of hypertension during the week of World Hypertension Day (WHD) through a variety of media outlets and open demonstrations. The message was seen by over 250 million people because of mainstream media like television and the internet.With each passing year, the WHL hopes to reach almost all of the estimated

1.5 billion individuals who suffer from high blood pressure. World Hypertension Day’s success is a result of the passion and selfless efforts of numerous participants from each of the member nations.