Every year, May 17th is dedicated to World Hypertension Day. The purpose of World Hypertension Day (WHD) is to promote public awareness of hypertension and encourage citizens to prevent and control this "silent killer." This year's theme is Healthy Heart Beat-Healthy Blood Pressure!
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is most commonly known as High Blood Pressure, a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. Many people have high blood pressure for years without even knowing it, because most of the time, there are no symptoms. But the longer high blood pressure goes left untreated, it damages arteries and vital organs throughout the body. This is why high blood pressure is often called the "silent killer".
A Global Epidemic
Globally, 9.4 million die every year and 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer because of high blood pressure or hypertension. It is the biggest single risk factor for death world-wide causing heart disease, stroke and kidney disease and diabetes.
Take Time to Know your Blood Pressure Numbers
- Measure your blood measure regularly with an automatic, cuff style bicep (upper arm) monitor. If you don't own a monitor at home, medical clinics and pharmacies throughout the community have blood pressure stations and/or cuffs available for free use.
- Look for a blood pressure reading below 135 mmHG for the upper reading and below 85 mmHg for the lower reading for good health.
- When taking your blood pressure, remember to do it when you are calm and quiet and at least 30 minutes after exercise.
- Begin by making sure the cuff fits around your upper arm.
- Sit with your back straight and don't cross your feet.
- Take multiple readings at the same time of day.
- Record your results for future reference.
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines provides exceptional Heart, Lung and Vascular Care Services through a coordinated team of specialists, nurses and professionals. We care about your health, and are here to help.