Silent killer

It was scary to learn the other day that high blood pressure may account for more than 13 percent of premature deaths around the world.

An article in the The Lancet medical journal wrote that researchers found that in 2001, the latest year for which complete global data were available, around 8 million early deaths could be attributed to high blood pressure.

Hypertension was also claimed to be responsible for 54 percent of strokes and 47 percent of heart disease worldwide.

I have always thought high blood pressure was principally a problem in high income western countries. But the latest findings show that 80 percent of deaths linked to high blood pressure now occur in the developing world, with half of the fatalities among people of working age.

According to The Lancet article writers little substantive or sustained effort has been made to address an issue that has probably killed over 50 million people in the past decade, disabled many more, and taken billions of dollars from already fragile economies.

However, there is hope on the horizon. Both the WHO and World Bank have now highlighted the importance of chronic disease as an obstacle to economic development. They recommend action to control the huge epidemics of cardiovascular diseases already affecting Asia and South America and threatening other regions, including Africa.

The Lancet writers noted global expenditure on antihypertensive treatment is around €50 billion each year, more than 90 percent of which is spent in high-income countries, where the main debate about access concerns the provision of care to very-low-risk individuals. Middle-income and low-income regions have a five times greater burden of disease than do high-income regions, with access to less than 10 percent of the global treatment resource.

Keep on rocking, Dave

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About Wanobe, the business knowledge network
Writer, journalist and broadcaster, sixty-something David likes nothing better than being with family and friends, eating out and drinking great wines, and scuba diving.

One Response to Silent killer

  1. Alexis Kenne says:

    According to recent estimates, nearly one in three U.S. In fact, many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Doctors think that many things combine to cause HBP. Being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, and eating too much salt are risk factors because they raise your risk of having HBP. Doctors established a long time ago that happy and humorous people don’t fall sick; they don’t suffer high blood pressure and other debilitating ailments, just because they choose to be happy. You would agree that’s not such a difficult decision to make. Doctors often suggest you to decrease salt intake, as sodium can increase blood pressure. But this is an advantage for people with low blood pressure.

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