World Hypertension Day 2022: Causes, symptoms and treatments of hypertension | Know from Expert

World Hypertension Day 2022: Hypertension Day is observed every year on May 17. The theme for this year is 'Know Your Numbers'. Read more here.

By Sugandha Jha
Updated: Tue, 17 May 2022 07:54 AM IST
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World Hypertension Day 2022: Causes, symptoms and treatments of hypertension | Know from Expert
World hypertension day 2022

New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Across the world, there are a total of 700 million people with untreated hypertension, as per a 2021 analysis led by Imperial College London along with World Health Organization (WHO), and published in the medical journal The Lancet. The number of adults aged 30–79 years with hypertension has increased from 650 million to 1.28 billion in the last thirty years, the study added.

To educate the public and increase awareness of hypertension, which is also commonly known as high blood pressure, World Hypertension Day is observed every year on May 17. The theme for this year is 'Know Your Numbers'. In this initiative which started in 2017, volunteer manned screening sites will be set up in a range of venues around the world to check the blood pressure of as many people as possible.

Since World Hypertension Day is around the corner, here's a look at the causes of hypertension, its symptoms, treatment, and related issues.

Causes

Some of the major causes that increase your risk of getting high pressure include eating too much salt, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, not getting enough exercise, drinking too much alcohol or coffee, being overweight, and not getting much sleep or having disturbed sleep.

Symptoms

Most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because it may have no warning signs or symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, and buzzing in the ears. Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors, as per the WHO.

Types

Hypertension is mainly of two types, i.e. primary and secondary, as per Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Director of Cardiology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad.

For most adults, there's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure, called primary (essential) hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years.

Meanwhile, some people have high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition. This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and causes higher blood pressure than primary hypertension does. The causes of secondary hypertension include obstructive sleep apnea, kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid problems, and certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers, and some prescription drugs.

Prevention

Dr. Kumar recommends limiting the amount of sodium in food by choosing low salt and "no-added salt" foods. He also suggests reducing the intake of alcohol since too much of it can increase blood pressure and triglyceride level. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is also recommended by doctors for controlling high blood pressure. The DASH eating plan focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are healthy for the heart and low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Exercise and weight management have also been proven to reduce hypertension. Routine physical activity can lower many CHD risk factors, including LDL (bad) cholesterol, high blood pressure, and excess weight. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk of hypertension. A general goal to aim for is a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. A BMI of less than 25 is the goal for preventing and treating hypertension and heart disease.

Quitting smoking can also help with hypertension. As per Dr. Kumar, BP starts to decrease within 24 hours of stopping to smoke. Within 1 year of quitting, the risk decreases significantly and within 2 years, it reaches the level of a non-smoker.

Finally, learning how to manage stress can improve emotional and physical health. Having supportive people in your life with whom you can share your feelings or concerns can help relieve stress.

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