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World Hypertension Day 2024 – May 17

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World Hypertension Day - May 17 2024The World Health Organization (WHO) annually observes the World Hypertension Day (WHD) on 17 May to increase awareness of Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure (BP), and stimulate global action to combat high blood pressure.

  • The 2024 theme of WHD is, “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.”

Note: The theme promotes increased awareness of high BP and accuracy in BP measurement, toward controlling hypertension-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), especially in low to middle-income areas.


i.WHD is aimed at raising attention to the importance of better hypertension control.

ii.WHD emphasises the serious medical complications of hypertension and provides guidance on prevention, detection, and management.


i.WHD, a significant global activity was started by the World Hypertension League (WHL), a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to the prevention and control of hypertension globally.

ii.WHL observed the 1st WHD on 14 May 2005. Since 2006, the WHL has  dedicated May 17 of every year as ‘World Hypertension Day’.

About Hypertension:

i.Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when blood vessels consistently have elevated pressure.

ii.Mechanism: Blood from the heart pumps into vessels, creating pressure against the walls of blood vessels (arteries). Higher pressure makes the heart work harder.

iii.Hypertension (high BP) is when the pressure in the blood vessels is too high (140/90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or higher).

Note: Raised blood pressure is the biggest single contributing risk factor to global health.

Health Risks of Hypertension:

i.Serious Condition: Increases the risk of heart, brain, and kidney diseases.

ii.Premature Death: A leading cause of early mortality and disability worldwide.

iii.Global Statistics: Affects over 1 billion people, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women.

iv.Affected Regions: Two-thirds of cases are in low- and middle-income countries.

Note: Key risk factors include salt intake, tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, stress, and air pollution.

Key Facts:

According to WHO:

i.Over 294 million people in the WHO Southeast Asia Region (SEAR) are living with hypertension.

ii.Half of adults with hypertension are unaware, and nearly 1 in 6 do not have their blood pressure under control.

iii.Limited access to affordable healthcare services for hypertension is one of the prime reasons for the low Universal Service Coverage Index for most countries in WHO SEAR.

iv.Treatment Reach: Over 24 million individuals with hypertension are receiving treatment within public health facilities across the region.

WHL 2024 Excellence Awards:

i.On WHD 2024, the WHL recognised the WHL 2024 Excellence Award Winners for their contributions to global hypertension prevention and control.

ii.Indian Recognitions in the WHL 2024 Excellence Awards are:

Norman Campbell Excellence Award in Population Hypertension Prevention and Control:

Professor (Dr) Balram Bhargava, Chief of Cardiothoracic Centre,  All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, and President, National Academy of Sciences.

Organizational Excellence Award in Population Global Hypertension Control:

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Government of India- Dr. L. Swasticharan, Additional Deputy Director General;
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)- Dr. P. Ganeshkumar MD, Scientist E / Deputy Director;
  • Resolve to Save Lives- Dr. Amit Shah, Executive Director, Resolve to Save Lives, India.

Note: Dr. Roderico H. Ofrin, WHO Representative to India also won the award.