Diagnosing hypertension is important
Yet up to half of the people with hypertension may be unaware they have it, as they do not exhibit any signs or symptoms.2 This is why hypertension is considered a silent disease and a global public health issue. The only way to know whether a person has hypertension is by having their blood pressure checked.
Checking blood pressure is simple, quick and painless. Usually a healthcare professional will use an electronic device that is strapped to the upper arm. The cuff or band squeezes the arm for several seconds, and then releases. It is important that some simple rules are followed when checking for hypertension, such as sitting calmly, placing your feet flat on floor, and not eating one hour before the blood pressure check.
Hypertension is a global problem affecting over
40% of adults aged 25 and over.1
A blood pressure reading is expressed in two numbers:
- The systolic pressure (which is a measure of the amount of pressure occurring when the heart beats and pushes blood around the body).
- The diastolic pressure (which is a measure of the blood pressure between heart beats).
Hypertension has classically been defined as systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg.3
1. Chow CK, et al. Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in rural and urban communities in high-, middle-, and low-income countries. JAMA 2013;310:959-68.
2. World Health Organisation. A global brief on hypertension Silent killer, public health crisis. WHO 2013.
3. High blood pressure and pregnancy: Know the facts http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20046098; Last accessed August 2017.