The report highlights a significant challenge: in order to achieve a 50% control rate, an additional 67 million people with hypertension would need effective treatment. The report’s criteria for hypertension diagnosis include a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher or the use of medication to manage the condition.
Hypertension is defined as a condition where the blood pressure in the body rises to 140/90 mmHg or higher. Modifiable risk factors such as excessive salt intake, physical inactivity, and
can also significantly increase the likelihood of hypertension.
Symptoms associated with high blood pressure include severe headaches, chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, or other vision changes, and anxiety.
Hypertension, left untreated, can lead to grave health complications, including strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney damage, and a range of other serious ailments.
Four out of Five Individuals with Hypertension do not Receive Appropriate Treatment
The WHO report reveals that hypertension affects one in three adults globally and emphasizes that “This common, deadly condition leads to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney damage, and many other health problems.”
Furthermore, the report highlights the alarming statistic that four out of five individuals with hypertension are not receiving appropriate treatment. Additionally, it underscores the dramatic increase in hypertension cases, from 650 million to 1.3 billion, between 1990 and 2019.
Globally, the report reveals that more than half of all cardiovascular deaths in 2019 were attributed to high systolic blood pressure, including deaths from hypertensive heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and stroke. Furthermore, 62% of deaths from chronic kidney disease were linked to high systolic blood pressure. Shockingly, 38% of hypertension-related deaths occurred in adults under the age of 70, representing a total of 4 million adults.
Preventive Strategies of WHO Report to Combat Hypertension
The WHO underscores the importance of physical activity for maintaining good health. It warns that if the current prevalence of physical inactivity remains unchanged, there will be nearly 240 million new cases of preventable hypertension globally from 2020 to 2030, leading to a healthcare burden of over Int$ 115 billion.
Preventing hypertension involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress levels, and monitoring blood pressure consistently.
Dietary choices play a crucial role in preventing hypertension, with an emphasis on reducing sodium intake from processed and fast foods while increasing consumption of potassium-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
A healthy lifestyle that includes regular blood pressure monitoring, adequate sleep, limited caffeine intake, sufficient hydration, and reduced processed food consumption can significantly lower the risk of hypertension.
The Impact of Hypertension on Women
The report highlights that hypertension significantly affects women, presenting unique challenges related to hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause, or contraceptive use. Stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking can also contribute to hypertension in women.
Effective prevention and management strategies, tailored to women’s specific risk factors and hormonal influences, are essential for promoting a healthier and longer life for women affected by hypertension.
- First WHO report details devastating impact of hypertension and ways to stop it – (https:www.who.int/news/item/19-09-2023-first-who-report-details-devastating-impact-of-hypertension-and-ways-to-stop-it)
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