World Hypertension Day 2024: Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer. (2024)

Hypertension – or high blood pressure – is a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It is one of the major causes leading to heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, collectively known as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and chronic kidney damage. Controlling hypertension is important to prevent lifelong complications and acute cardiovascular events. Hypertension is known to be the single most important leading cause of early deaths due to cardiovascular diseases.

Hypertension is defined as having systolic blood pressure (SPB) ≥140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DPB) ≥90 mmHg. Many factors contribute to the age-related increased blood pressure; however, the main contributors seem to be lifestyle related behavioural risk factors such as poor-quality diet high in sodium and low in potassium, overweight and obesity, consumption of alcohol, use of tobacco and physical inactivity.

Keeping high blood pressure under control requires early diagnosis, early and effective treatment alongside lifestyle modifications to address behavioural risk factors. Hypertension is considered ‘controlled’ when the systolic blood pressure (BP) is maintained below 140 mmHg and diastolic BP below 90 mmHg, with medications and lifestyle modifications.

World Hypertension Day 2024: Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer. (1)

Blood pressure is read as two numbers, systolic (upper value) and diastolic (lower value). The normal average Blood Pressure of an adult is 120 / 80 mm Hg. Values above 140/90 are considered as high blood pressure or hypertension.

Global situation of hypertension.

WHO Global Report on Hypertension in 2023 estimated that the number of hypertensive adults almost doubled globally during the last three decades, from 650 million in 1990 to 1.3 billion adults by 2019. The health impact of increasing trends of high blood pressure translated to 10.8 million avoidable deaths annually and 235 million years of life lost or lived with disability.

Globally, almost every 1 in 3 adults is hypertensive, with male prevalence slightly higher than females under 50 years age group. Beyond the age of 50, the prevalence reaches nearly 49%, or every 1 out of 2 individuals, with nearly equal prevalence among both men and women.

While early diagnosis and timely treatment is important, nearly 46% of individuals were never diagnosed. Of those diagnosed, only 42% were on treatment, with nearly half among these having their blood pressure controlled. Hence in most of the countries, there are significant gaps in diagnosis and treatment coverage, with low-income countries facing the major brunt of illness.

WHO has been working with Member States to improve global and national response to tackle NCDs and their risk factors since 2013. The Member States agreed on "Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020", that was subsequently extended to 2030 synchronizing with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which includes SDG target 3.4 of reducing premature mortality due to noncommunicable diseases by a third against a baseline of 2015. The global implementation roadmap 2023-2030 under this plan aims to achieve this reduction by achieving nine voluntary global targets. Reducing prevalence of hypertension by 25% is one of the targets under the global roadmap.

Hypertension status and coverage in the WHO South-East Asia Region.

Hypertension poses a significant health challenge in the countries of WHO South-East Asia Region affecting an estimated 294 million individuals aged 30 and above. The condition was responsible for 2.4 million annual deaths in 2019, accounting for nearly half of all deaths due to cardiovascular diseases. Half among those with high blood pressure were unaware of their condition and only less than half of those on treatment had their condition under control.

In the South-East Asia Region, The Seventy-sixth Regional Committee in 2022 endorsed the initiative "SEAHEARTS: Accelerating Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Diseases in the South-East Asia Region (SEA/RC76/R5). The Call to Action asks for developing interim milestones for risk factor reduction and improved treatment cascade in broader context of NCD prevention and control.

Current situation of hypertension diagnosis and management in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is experiencing continually a rise in prevalence of hypertension, due to effects of changing demographics towards aging population, urbanization and continued prevalence of behavioural risk factors. The estimates from the 2021 Sri Lanka NCD risk factor survey (STEPS), showed that every 1 in 3 adults (34.8%) had raised blood pressure, an almost 25% increase in prevalence from that of 2015 STEPS survey. Importantly, more than half (54%) with raised blood pressure were unaware of their hypertensive status. Even among those being aware, at least 20% among them were not on any medication, whereas only 40% had their blood pressure under control while on treatment.

The behavioural risk factors contributing to hypertension have also been on the rise. STEPS survey revealed that one in three adults are physically inactive. Nearly 70% of individuals had inadequate intake of vegetables and fruits, while prevalence of blood cholesterol levels (defined as total cholesterol ≥ 5.0 mmol/l or 190mg/dl) was found to be high in nearly half of adults (48%), almost doubling since 2015, showing increasing trend of overweight and obesity in the population. The salt intake was estimated at 8.5 gms per day among adults, much higher than the WHO recommended salt intake of less than 5 gms/day for adults.

Over the last few years, Sri Lanka adopted key population based and health systems measures to tackle risk factors and improve detection, diagnosis and management of hypertension. The National Multisectoral Strategic Action Plan for noncommunicable diseases was initiated in 2016 with target to reduce hypertension by 25% in line with global recommendations; the plan has been updated to 2027 and has targets in place to tackle risk factors and improve treatment coverage. Sri Lanka initiated targeted programmes through establishing healthy lifestyle centres to improve screening of adults and developed a simple hypertension treatment protocol based on recommendations of the 2021 WHO Guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults. Pilot projects in selected provinces have shown success of improved case detection and improved control among individuals put on medications. Sri Lanka is among the first countries to introduce mandatory front-of-pack traffic-light labelling regulations (concentration based colour coding for Sugar, Salt and Fat) for pre-packaged solid and semi-solid processed foods (Regulations 2019-No 2119/3 (86). National guidelines to improve physical activity among all age groups and in work settings have been developed and promoted.

Despite these efforts in place, the trends of rising prevalence, and gaps in screening and treatment reflect persistent challenges. The WHO SEARO estimated that of the 4.3 million hypertensive adults in Sri Lanka, just over 1.5 million are on treatment. There is a need to expand the case detection through screening and improve treatment coverage, as well as compliance to treatment for improving blood pressure control rates.

The WHO Sri Lanka is collaborating with the Directorate of Noncommunicable Diseases, Ministry of Health to implement SEAHEARTS to improve coverage for hypertension in Sri Lanka. This will include protocol-based treatment to cater nearly a million additional individuals within the next three years and enhanced engagement of health workforce for case finding and compliance to treatment. Multisectoral advocacy will be supported to promote healthy lifestyles and implement national guidelines on healthy diets and physical activity, as well as expanding active screening for improved case detection. WHO will work with in-country partners to address the service delivery gaps, allocate resources effectively, and increase treatment compliance for individuals affected with hypertension in Sri Lanka, to achieve national milestone of achieving treatment coverage by 50% by 2025.

2021 STEPS Country Report Sri Lanka.https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/2021-steps-country-report-sri-lanka

SEAHEARTS: Accelerating prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases in the South-East Asia Region -https://www.who.int/southeastasia/publications-detail/SEA-RC76-R5

WHO Global report on hypertension: the race against a silent killer. 2023.Global report on hypertension: the race against a silent killer (who.int)

WHO Guideline for the pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults.20219789240033986-eng.pdf (who.int)

WHO SEAHEARTS for accelerating CVD Control website: https://www.who.int/southeastasia/activities/seahearts-for-accelerating-cvd-control

World Hypertension Day 2024: Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer. (2024)

FAQs

What is the 60 second trick to lower blood pressure? ›

A 60-second trick to lower blood pressure immediately is to take a deep breath and try to relax. Stress and anxiety can raise your blood pressure, so taking a moment to calm down can help lower it. Learn breath exercises that slow your heart rate and promote relaxation. Drink some water.

When is the World high blood pressure Day in 2024? ›

World Hypertension Day on 17 May 2024: Know your blood pressure, and control it!

What is the best exercise for high blood pressure? ›

For those who have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring blood pressure down to safer levels. Some examples of aerobic exercise that can help lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Another possibility is high-intensity interval training.

What is the number one fruit to lower blood pressure? ›

The top fruits for lowering blood pressure include bananas, apples, pears, apricots, grapes, raisins, kiwis, mangoes, watermelon, pomegranate, plums, prunes, avocado, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, tomatoes, citrus fruit, berries, and more.

What is the best drink in the morning for high blood pressure? ›

There are a range of drinks that may help lower a person's blood pressure in the morning. If a person with hypertension usually drinks coffee or sugary juice in the morning, it may be beneficial for them to swap it for beetroot juice, unsalted tomato juice, green tea, or unsweetened pomegranate juice.

What can you drink every night to lower blood pressure? ›

  • Beet juice. Not only do these colorful, low-calorie vegetables contain a host of health-promoting vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, but they may also help lower your blood pressure. ...
  • Tomato juice. ...
  • Pomegranate juice. ...
  • Berry juice. ...
  • Skim milk. ...
  • Tea.

Do bananas lower blood pressure quickly? ›

No single food can quickly lower blood pressure. However, some foods may help a person lower their blood pressure in general. These include anthocyanin-rich berries , bananas and other foods containing potassium, beetroot juice and beets, leafy green vegetables , and more.

Does lemon water bring your blood pressure down? ›

Helps Reduce Blood Pressure

The potassium found in lemon juice can also help diminish the effects of salt on blood pressure. Studies have shown that, when combined with daily walks, lemon intake can be an effective treatment for high blood pressure.

What is the blood pressure for longevity? ›

Such excess mortality increases with rise in blood pressure and is greater in the presence of other impairments or complications. On the other hand, the blood pressures optimal for longevity are those below 110 mm Hg systolic and 70 mm Hg diastolic.

Does high blood pressure make you tired all the time? ›

Complications of high blood pressure, including heart disease, can also make you feel tired. If you're feeling fatigued and think it could be related to your blood pressure, let your provider know. They can check your blood pressure and recommend treatments to help make sure it stays at a healthy level.

What will happen in October 2024? ›

October 2, 2024, an annular solar eclipse, is an upcoming celestial event that has captured the attention of astronomy enthusiasts worldwide.

Are eggs good for high blood pressure? ›

Eggs don't have a direct impact on blood pressure, Dr. Hausvater adds—for example, eating a couple eggs won't cause a surge upward or a sudden downward dip—but they may have an indirect effect because they contain potassium and calcium, which contribute to lower blood pressure.

Does drinking water lower blood pressure? ›

And does dehydration cause high blood pressure? Drinking water can help normalize your blood pressure but doesn't necessarily lower your blood pressure unless you are dehydrated. Because your blood is made up of 90% water, the overall volume will decrease when you are dehydrated.

Can walking lower blood pressure? ›

Evidence-Based Answer. Walking lowers systolic blood pressure by 4.11 mm Hg (95% CI, 3.01 to 5.22 mm Hg). It lowers diastolic blood pressure by 1.79 mm Hg (95% CI, 1.07 to 2.51 mm Hg) and resting heart rate by 2.76 beats per minute (bpm; 95% CI, 0.95 to 4.57 bpm).

What is the number one food that causes high blood pressure? ›

Foods high in salt or added sugars — such as soda and caffeinated drinks, baked goods, and many packaged foods — can contribute to high blood pressure. Limiting or replacing these foods in the diet can help people manage or lower their blood pressure.

What sleeping position lowers blood pressure? ›

Sleeping on the left side is the best sleeping position for high blood pressure, as it relieves pressure on the blood vessels that return blood to the heart. These vessels are located on the right side of the body and can be compressed by slowing its circulation if you sleep on your right side.”

Do bananas lower blood pressure? ›

Bananas are a nutritious and tasty option for helping lower blood pressure. Loaded with essential nutrients like potassium, fiber and vitamin C, bananas offer several benefits for cardiovascular health. Their potassium content counterbalances sodium intake, promoting blood vessel relaxation.

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