World Hypertension Day is observed every year on May 17 to increase awareness around the health condition and ways to prevent, detect and treat high blood pressure. Hypertension is a very common but also a potentially serious medical condition and if left unchecked can have fatal consequences.
But before divulging more into this year’s World hypertension Day, let’s first know the definition of blood pressure or BP which is used more commonly in households.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, blood pressure is the measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body.
India’s National Health Portal says, “Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure in blood vessels the harder the heart has to work in order to pump blood."
A person has hypertension if his/her blood pressure is above 140/90, and the condition will be considered severe if the measurements go over 180/120.
Role of Salt in Blood Pressure
Salt is an important ingredient in our diets, but several studies have found that there is a direct correlation between salt and hypertension. People who consume more dietary sodium tend to register high blood pressure. This is because intake of salt leads to consumption of more water which subsequently makes it more difficult for the heart to pump the blood, as pressure is increased in your arteries (blood vessels).
Therefore, health experts have suggested regulated intake of salt for people with high blood pressure. People who consume less salt in their diet have seen reduction in their blood pressure.
Hypertension and Covid
The pandemic has proved far more deadly for people with comorbidities, and a big section of Covid patients, who succumbed to the virus, reported hypertension or high blood pressure as their underlying medical illness.
Therefore, to communicate the seriousness of this health condition, this year’s theme for World Hypertension Day is ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer’.