• Know your blood pressure



Involve your contacts. We invite you to use the messages and hashtags for Facebook and Twitter that we will provide on this website.


Before World Health Day

  • Create a timeline to promote your events and posts.
  • Share the “key messages” on this website on your Facebook.
  • Use the graphics provided on this page and/or with photographs from your country.
  • You can also share posts on NCDs Facebook (www.facebook.com/PAHONCDs) and/or PAHOWHO’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/pahowho) on your Facebook.
  • Ask your facebook friends if they “know their numbers.”
  • Share the PAHO video on vimeo: 140/90 Hypertension http://vimeo.com/62093553
  • Share the www.paho.org/whday2013 website with your friends in Facebook.
  • Create an “event” on your Facebook page to invite your friends and to promote your activities.

During World Health Day

  • Share your activities including images and highlighting 140/90 Hypertension.
  • Share your press release or other information on your activity with an image (preferable an image of an activity with the community.)
  • Thank your friends in Facebook for participating and highlight 140/90 Hypertension; include an image.



  • Share the “key messages” on your twitter.
  • You can also share tweets from @NCDs_PAHO and/or @pahowho
  • Share key statistics from your country.
  • Share the PAHO video on vimeo:  140/90 Hypertension.
  • Share the www.paho.org/whday2013 website with your followers on your Twitter.

Hashtags for Twitter

  • #knowyournumbers
  • #hypertension
  • #lesssalt
  • #bloodpressure
  • #WHD2013
  • #checkyourbloodpressure


In order to participate in the initiative for World Health Day 2013 – hypertension, you can use the key messages that will be available on this website. You will be able to adapt these messages according to your different needs and audiences.


  • A low-salt/ sodium diet could prevent up to 1 in 4 heart attacks and/or strokes.
  • Eating high levels of salt affects blood pressure.  About 30% of people with hypertension (high blood pressure) would have normal blood pressure if they reduced their salt intake to a healthy level. 
  • Beware of “hidden salt in your diet”. Restaurants play a role in your salt intake.
  • There are easy ways to limit sodium consumption. Checking the nutrition facts table on packaged foods, watching how much salt is added to food at the table and when cooking, using herbs and spices instead of salt, asking in the restaurant to prepare food with less salt.
  • High intake of sodium can lead to hypertension in adults and may even predispose children to developing the same condition later in life.
  • Adults need only 3,200 mg of sodium per day, 5 gr. of salt, that means one teaspoon of salt a day.  Most of the sodium intake comes from processed, packaged and ready-to-eat foods. By eating whole foods, reading the labels and buying products which labels indicate less than 10% DV of sodium can reduce a person salt consumption. 


Community, general public, and people with hypertension

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure (140/90 or above) affects one out of three adults, with serious consequences for the health of men and women.
  • Blood pressure of 140/90 or above raises the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, which are the leading causes of death around the world. It can also lead to renal failure as well as blindness and cardiac insufficiency.
  • Hypertension above 140/90 is more severe, and the risks are even greater for those who are obese, smoke, or have diabetes.
  • One out of three people with hypertension are not diagnosed because they do not know that they have high blood pressure. Hypertension is often asymptomatic, so all adults should have their blood pressure taken regularly.
  • Measures to prevent hypertension include reducing salt intake, eating a balanced and healthy diet, avoiding harmful alcohol consumption, and maintaining a physically active lifestyle and healthy body weight.
  • Hypertension can be controlled—below 140/90—with modifications in lifestyle, adhering to the indications from health professionals and taking effective, safe, and inexpensive drugs.
  • Treatment helps control but not cure high blood pressure. If treatment is abandoned, blood pressure will again rise above 140/90 and increase risk of cardiovascular complications.

Health system and health care providers

  • Whenever patients visit health services, their blood pressure should be taken. Patients with blood pressure of 140/90 or above have hypertension.
  • One out of three adults has hypertension, that is, blood pressure of 140/90 or above. The proportion increases with age, affecting 50% of people over 50 years old. One-third of people with hypertension go undiagnosed and do not follow treatment because they do not know they have high blood pressure.
  • Risk of complications from hypertension increases in patients who smoke or are obese or diabetic.
  • Advise your patients to keep a balanced and healthy diet, reduce salt intake, quit smoking, avoid harmful alcohol consumption, maintain a physically active lifestyle and healthy bodyweight. Medical services have guidelines to follow on hypertension prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Control of hypertension (blood pressure of 140/90 or lower) should be complemented with interventions to control diabetes and quit smoking. Primary health care services are the best scenario for control of blood pressure and modification of cardiovascular risk profile.
  • Evaluation of cardiovascular risk profile in people with hypertension is the best way to select treatment and reach control. Health centers should make sure to have all the instruments needed to perform this evaluation.
  • Control of blood pressure (below 140/90) and positive modification of cardiovascular risk profile of people with hypertension is the most efficient and fastest way to reduce mortality from cardiovascular diseases, which increase health expenditure and cause premature deaths.
  • People with hypertension may need one or more drugs to maintain their pressure below 140/90, and should take measures to control other cardiovascular risk factors. Medical services can train patients to manage their hypertension, either through measurement of their blood pressure, change in lifestyle and/or compliance with their treatment.


  • Hypertension or high blood pressure (140/90 or above) affects one out of three adults around the world and is the principal risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
  • Reducing cardiovascular diseases by controlling hypertension is an effective way to help attain the goal to reduce by 25% premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 2025, a commitment adopted by the United Nations.
  • One-third of hypertensive patients under treatment are not controlled, even though there are effective and economic drugs to control hypertension.
  • The three most profitable interventions to quickly reduce premature mortality and halt cardiovascular diseases are:
    1. Cut salt intake by half, particularly in processed food;
    2. Eliminate consumption and exposure to tobacco products;
    3. Provide appropriate treatment for anyone with hypertension.
  • The most effective way to prevent hypertension in the entire population is reducing salt intake by half, especially salt from processed food. The processed-food industry can make the difference.
  • Governments can establish mechanisms that make it possible to reduce prices and improve drug quality. The pharmaceutical industry can also collaborate toward that end.
  • Well-organized health services with treatment plans involving life-long monitoring of patients provide better care to people with hypertension and at a more reasonable cost.



Our fact sheets provide comprehensive information about hypertension topics. Please feel free to download and distribute them in your region.