World Hypertension Day 2020: Current Theme, Significance, Signs and Risks of Hypertension

World Hypertension Day (WHD) 2020: It is observed on 17 May every year. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, World Hypertension League (WHL) has announced that it will postpone the celebration of World Hypertension Day (WHD) until 10 October, 2020. Let us read more about World Hypertension Day, its 2020 theme, hypertension disease, its causes, symptoms and prevention.
May 17, 2020 05:33 IST
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World Hypertension Day
World Hypertension Day

World Hypertension Day (WHD) 2020: It is celebrated by World Hypertension League (WHL) annually on 17 May to spread awareness about hypertension disease, its prevention, detection and control. The main risk factor to develop the cardiovascular disease is high blood pressure.

WHD was first inaugurated in May 2005. Basically, it is a high blood pressure condition and causes various health problems like heart disease and stroke. In high blood pressure force on the arteries is higher and usually, it has no signs or symptoms. This day encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control it. Hypertension is also known as a silent killer, the modern epidemic.

World Hypertension Day 2020: Theme

The theme of World Hypertension Day 2020 is "Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer." The theme focuses on increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world. 

The theme of World Hypertension Day 2019 was "Know your numbers". Let us tell you that in 2019, WHL in conjunction with the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) promoted May Measurement Month (MMM).

Do you know that high blood pressure or hypertension is the major risk factor for cardiovascular disease? Hence, in 2002, it was named as 'the number one killer' by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the World Health Report. 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.

About Hypertension

Nowadays in so much of busy life, people are not getting time for themselves and also are suffering from Stress and Tension which further leads to hypertension problem. It is a type of situation known as high blood pressure as mentioned above also.

A person suffering from hypertension disease damages their health and not able to concentrate on their work properly. People become unconfident in several types of activities.

So, we can say that hypertension is another name of high blood pressure which can cause severe complications and also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and death.

Do you know that blood pressure is the force that is exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels? According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the growth of the processed food industry has impacted the amount of salt in diets worldwide and this plays a role in hypertension.

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Facts about Hypertension

- Normal blood pressure is 120 over 80 mm of mercury but hypertension is higher than 130 over 80 mmHg according to the guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA).

- Acute causes of high blood pressure include stress but it can happen on its own or it can result from an underlying condition like kidney disease etc.

- If hypertension is not managed can lead to heart attack, stroke and other problems.

- Lifestyle is also responsible for high blood pressure.

Treatment of Hypertension

Blood pressure can be regulated through diet, lifestyle before it reaches to hypertension. Regular physical exercise should be done. According to the guidelines recommended by the doctors, people suffering from hypertension disease should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise. People should exercise at least 5 days a week like they can do walk, jogging, cycling or swimming. The medication also helps in reducing high blood pressure, develop strategies to manage unavoidable stress etc.

About Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is measured by a sphygmomanometer, or blood pressure monitor. It is measured in two ranges systolic and diastolic (mmHg). Let us tell you that systolic reading of 120 mmHg refers to the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body. The diastolic reading of 80 mmHg refers to the pressure as the heart relaxes and refills with blood.

According to the guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2017:


Systolic (mmHg)

Diastolic (mmHg)

Normal blood pressure

Less than 120

Less than 80


Between 120 and 129

Less than 80

Stage 1 hypertension

Between 130 and 139

Between 80 and 89

Stage 2 hypertension

At least 140

At least 90

Hypertensive crisis

Over 180

Over 120

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Symptoms of Hypertension disease

Source: www.
As we know that this disease is known as a silent killer and maybe a person not notice any symptoms. But it can cause damage to the cardiovascular system and internal organs like the kidneys.

Also, high blood pressure causes sweating, anxiety, sleeping problems and blushing. And in hypertensive crisis, a person may experience headaches and nosebleeds.

Long term hypertension can cause atherosclerosis where the formation of plaque results in the narrowing of blood vessels. This can lead to heart failure, heart attacks, an aneurysm that is an abnormal bulge in the wall of an artery that can burst and may cause severe bleeding, kidney failure, stroke, etc.

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Types of Hypertension disease
Hypertension disease is classified into two namely primary hypertension and secondary hypertension.

Primary Hypertension: High blood pressure that is caused by another condition or disease is called primary or essential hypertension. It can result from multiple factors, including blood plasma volume and activity of hormones that regulate blood volume and pressure. It is also influenced by environmental factors like stress and lack of exercise.

Secondary Hypertension: If high blood pressure is caused due to another condition. It has some specific cause and is a complication of another problem. It can result from kidney disease, diabetes, pheochromocytoma which is a rare cancer of an adrenal gland, Cushing syndrome, hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, obesity etc.

May Measurement Month (MMM)
It is a global awareness campaign initiated by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), which has world's leading scientists, clinicians, health care providers and allied health care workers, all with a common interest in hypertension research.

MMM was launched in 2017 to provide knowledge to the people about blood pressure and how to reduce hypertension's adverse effects on health.

Do you know that blood pressure is number 1 contributing risk factor for global death-causing strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications?
Every year in May, volunteers around the world measure the blood pressure of people in cities, towns and villages as part of MMM. In just 3 years they have measured the blood pressure of 4.2 million+ people. In over 100 countries, almost 1 million people have been identified with untreated or inadequately treated hypertension. During MMM17, the inaugural year, blood pressure measured was over 1.2 million.

According to the results published on the eve of World Hypertension Day 2018 in a paper in The Lancet Global Health, over 150,000 people were found with previously unidentified hypertension and over 100,000 with adequately treated hypertension. Last May, team and volunteers of MMM reached around 1.5 million people.

Therefore, World Hypertension Day is observed annually on 17 May to make people aware of hypertension disease, how to prevent it, its types, symptoms and how it can be cured. No doubt hypertension disease is a silent killer as symptoms may not arrive early but slowly it may lead to several diseases like kidney disease, heart disease etc.

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