World Hypertension Day (WHD) 2020
October 17th 2020
The World Hypertension League (WHL), annually promotes World Hypertension Day
(WHD). The theme of WHD for the past five years has been Know Your Numbers with
the goal of increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the
world. This year’s expanded theme is Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live
Choosing these themes is based on global statistics, indicating that less than - 50% of adults with hypertension (SBP ≥140 mm Hg, DBP≥0 mm Hg, or treatment with antihypertensive medication), worldwide, were aware that they had high BP (<40% in lowand middle-income countries). In some populations, awareness is very low, being <10%. To increase awareness of hypertension, there are two critical components: (1) establish high‐capacity community screening programs for recognition of high BP in those at risk, and (2) promote routine measurement of BP by health‐care professionals at all clinical encounters. An important initial step for control of hypertension and achievement of the United Nations 2025 goal for a 25% reduction in uncontrolled hypertension is to improve hypertension diagnosis. Enhanced BP screenings through activities of the WHD will contribute to achieving this goal. WHL, with their member organizations and partners for national programs, will work to implement WHD screenings globally.
The WHL encourages all members and affiliated organizations to contribute reports on BP screenings recorded between April - October 2020. A reporting form is available here on the WHL website (www.whleague.org). Participants are asked to provide general information on their team, location, number screened, and NCD education provided. Where or when feasible, participants may also report on proportion of known treated hypertensive people screened whose BPs are “controlled” (<140 mm Hg systolic and <90 mm Hg diastolic).
To assist sites in screenings, the WHL has developed a series of resources to aid community‐based BP screening. These are available to all here. In addition to screening protocols, a Train the Trainer module for establishing an evidence‐based BP screening site, supporting PowerPoint slide sets and YouTube videos, are available. The WHL has also developed a policy statement to strongly encourage the use of automated BP devices rather than manual BP readings in nearly all screening and clinical settings.
WHL recognizes that there are complex challenges to the prevention and control of hypertension globally, and, in most settings, efforts to prevent and control hypertension are not comprehensive nor coordinated. To help counter this, the WHL challenges all members and partners to participate in the WHD celebration with rigorous BP measurement and NCD awareness efforts in the community and clinical settings, and to report the results of the screening activities. Please begin your planning, gathering resources, community outreach, and sponsors to maximize the number screened. We look forward to everyone's participation and compiling and publishing the results of WHD 2020 in our upcoming newsletter issues.