High blood pres­sure now a ma­jor prob­lem in de­vel­op­ing world

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE num­ber of peo­ple in the world suf­fer­ing from high blood pres­sure has al­most dou­bled over the past four decades, with the biggest rise in south Asia and Africa.

“High blood pres­sure is the lead­ing risk fac­tor for stroke and heart dis­ease, and kills around 7.5 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide ev­ery year,” said pro­fes­sor Ma­jid Ez­zati, lead au­thor of the study.

“Taken glob­ally, high blood pres­sure is no longer a prob­lem of the Western world or wealthy coun­tries. It is a prob­lem of the world’s poor­est coun­tries and peo­ple.”

Be­tween 1975 and 2015, the tally of adults with high blood pres­sure rose from 594 mil­lion to over 1.1 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the over­view, pub­lished in The Lancet med­i­cal jour­nal.

At the same time, high in­come coun­tries such as Aus­tralia, Canada, Ger­many and Ja­pan have made “im­pres­sive re­duc­tions” in the preva­lence of high blood pres­sure.

The biggest in­crease in cases was regis­tered in low- and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, South Asia and some Pa­cific is­land na­tions, re­searchers found.

In 2015, more than half of all adults with high blood pres­sure – some 590 mil­lion peo­ple – were liv­ing in east, south­east and south Asia. Of that num­ber, 226 mil­lion were in China and 199 mil­lion in In­dia.

Around one-third of wo­man liv­ing in most West African coun­tries also suf­fer from high blood pres­sure.

Hyper­ten­sion also re­mains a “se­ri­ous health prob­lem” in sev­eral coun­tries in cen­tral and eastern Europe, where more than one-third of men are liv­ing with the con­di­tion.

Peo­ple with high blood pres­sure have a higher risk of heart dis­ease, stroke, kidney dis­ease and de­men­tia.

Canada, Aus­tralia, Bri­tain, US, Peru, South Korea and Sin­ga­pore had the low­est pro­por­tion of adults with high blood pres­sure, with fewer than one in eight women and one in five men af­fected. –

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