Hypertension Affects 1 In 3 Adults Worldwide: WHO Says 76 Million Deaths Could Be Prevented If …
Approximately 4 out of every 5 hypertension patients are not adequately treated.

Hypertension can easily be treated with safe, widely available, affordable medicines, and yet most patients are not adequately treated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report on the devastating global impact of hypertension, which affects 1 in 3 adults worldwide. The report also includes recommendations on the ways to win the race against this silent killer.

Hypertension or high blood pressure (blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher) can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney damage and many other health problems.

According to the WHO report, cases of hypertension doubled between 1990 and 2019, from 650 million to 1.3 billion. Most of these patients live in low- and middle-income countries, accounting for more than three-quarters of adults with hypertension. Concerningly, nearly half of patients didn’t know they have the condition.

Further, the report showed that approximately 4 out of every 5 hypertension patients are not adequately treated.

The UN health agency suggested that if countries implement effective management of hypertension, 76 million deaths could be averted between 2023 and 2050. It can also help prevent 120 million strokes, 79 million heart attacks, and 17 million cases of heart failure within the same period.

Hypertension control programmes remain neglected

Despite the fact that hypertension can be controlled effectively with simple, low-cost medication regimens, only about one in five people with hypertension have controlled it, noted WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

According to him, hypertension control programmes remain neglected, under-prioritized and vastly underfunded.

He urged countries to strengthen hypertension control on a foundation of primary health care.

Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, stated that treating hypertension at a primary care level will save lives as well as billions of dollars a year.

Factors that can increase hypertension risk

Risk factors of hypertension include older age, genetics, high-salt diet, physically inactivity, and too much alcohol consumption.

Making certain lifestyle changes such as eating a healthier diet, not smoking and being more active can help lower the risk of hypertension. In some cases, medicines may be required to control hypertension effectively and prevent related complications.

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