According to 2015 Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics, hypertension-related cardiovascular disease causes such as heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and hypertensive diseases ranked No. 2, No.3 and No. 8 respectively in the top ten causes of death in Taiwan, resulting in a total of 35,907 deaths; that is, 1 in 4.6 deaths was directly related to the 3 causes of deaths associated with hypertension. Hypertension is often described as the "silent killer" because it often has no or warning signs.
According to a survey by the Health Promotion Administration in 2013, nearly 30% of people over the age of 18 have not measure their blood pressure (BP) in a year, demonstrating our ignorance to the issue. For six consecutive years beginning from 2013 until 2018, the World Hypertension League has set the theme for the annual World Hypertension Day as “Know Your Numbers” (Know your blood pressure), with a goal of increasing awareness for high blood pressure in all populations around the world. The World Hypertension Day for 2017 is on May 17. In order to promote this issue, the HPA calls for collaborative action: more than 1,500 community settings, including community pharmacy, convenience stores, Millennium Health Station, and the Cosmed beauty supply stores, posted signs for "Blood Pressure Advisory Pharmacy" or "Blood Pressure Measurement Station" (details can be found on the HPA’s website: https://goo.gl/jmK4uZ). People can measure their blood pressure at any of these locations, and the community pharmacists will advise the residents on proper and effective management of blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the stress exerted against the sides of your blood vessels during blood flow. When the systolic blood pressure is measured higher than 140 mmHg, and the diastolic blood pressure is measured higher than 90mmHg, this indicates high blood pressure, and medical professional advice is needed. The Health Promotion Administration reminds everyone to do good blood pressure management, maintain blood pressure with the 3C management tips, and keep an ideal blood pressure at 120 systolic, 80 diastolic.
The 3 Cs – Check, Change and Control
I. Check-Measure Blood Pressure
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that people over the age of 18 should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year. People with a family history of hypertension should pay attention by measuring blood pressure regularly and adopting a healthy lifestyle. The instructions for proper blood pressure measurement are as follow:
II. Change - change to healthy lifestyle
III. Control - Medications to treat high blood pressure
We recommend daily monitoring of blood pressure at home for all people with hypertension to help the healthcare providers determine whether treatments are working. Take two or three readings one minute apart, and record the results in average for each measurement. Maintaining blood pressure at least below the 140/90 mmHg value is recommended. Blood pressure control is essential for people with chronic diseases or the elderly population. Consult your healthcare professional to determine the optimal range of blood pressure control for yourself.