Huge study finds a billion people suffer from high blood pressure | Reuters

By Kate Kelland | LONDON LONDON The number of people with high blood pressure has almost doubled in 40 years to over 1.1 billion worldwide, scientists said on Wednesday, with the burden of the condition shifting from the rich to the poor.In the largest study of its kind analyzing blood pressure in every nation between 1975 and 2015, the scientists said that it has dropped sharply in wealthy countries - possibly due to healthier diets and lifestyles - but risen in poorer ones.The increases are especially significant in Africa and South Asia, the researchers said, and could be partly due to poor nutrition in childhood.High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, puts extra strain on the blood vessels and major organs such as the heart, brain and kidneys. It is the world's top cause of cardiovascular disease, which leads to strokes and heart attacks, and is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths a year worldwide.Led by World Health Organization researchers working with hundreds of scientists internationally, this study covered blood pressure measurements from nearly 20 million people and was published in The Lancet medical journal.

Reuters November 16, 2016 06:02:00 IST
Huge study finds a billion people suffer from high blood pressure
| Reuters

Huge study finds a billion people suffer from high blood pressure
 Reuters

By Kate Kelland
| LONDON

LONDON The number of people with high blood pressure has almost doubled in 40 years to over 1.1 billion worldwide, scientists said on Wednesday, with the burden of the condition shifting from the rich to the poor.In the largest study of its kind analyzing blood pressure in every nation between 1975 and 2015, the scientists said that it has dropped sharply in wealthy countries - possibly due to healthier diets and lifestyles - but risen in poorer ones.The increases are especially significant in Africa and South Asia, the researchers said, and could be partly due to poor nutrition in childhood.High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, puts extra strain on the blood vessels and major organs such as the heart, brain and kidneys. It is the world's top cause of cardiovascular disease, which leads to strokes and heart attacks, and is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths a year worldwide.Led by World Health Organization researchers working with hundreds of scientists internationally, this study covered blood pressure measurements from nearly 20 million people and was published in The Lancet medical journal.

In Europe, Britain had the lowest proportion of people with high blood pressure in 2015. South Korea, the United States and Canada had the lowest hypertension rates in the world.More than half the world's adults with high blood pressure in 2015 lived in Asia, the study estimated. Some 226 million people in China have high blood pressure, it said, as do 200 million in India. "High blood pressure is no longer related to affluence - as it was in 1975 - but is now a major health issue linked with poverty," said Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial College London's school of public health.

He said that while he could not be sure of why the data showed high blood pressure as more of a problem in poorer countries, it may be partly due to overall better health and more consumption of fruit and vegetables in wealthy societies.In rich countries, the condition is also caught more frequently and earlier, and managed more effectively with medicines, Ezzati said.

Blood pressure is defined by two numbers - systolic pressure, which represents the force with which the heart pumps blood into the blood vessels, and diastolic pressure, a measure of the resistance to the blood flow in the body's blood vessels. Both numbers are measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). High blood pressure is defined as 140/90 mmHg or higher.The condition is caused by a number of factors including having a diet high in salt and low in fruit and vegetables, and not taking enough exercise. (Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

Highlights, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, 2nd T20I in Colombo, Full Cricket Score: Proteas win by nine wickets to seal series
First Cricket News

Highlights, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, 2nd T20I in Colombo, Full Cricket Score: Proteas win by nine wickets to seal series

Check out the full scorecard and follow live ball-by-ball commentary on the 2nd T20I between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on our live blog.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Clinical Proteas hand hosts 10-wicket thrashing to complete 3-0 sweep
First Cricket News

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Clinical Proteas hand hosts 10-wicket thrashing to complete 3-0 sweep

Fortuin and Rabada took two wickets each to restrict Sri Lanka to 120-8 before De Kock (59) and Hendricks (56) helped South Africa romp home in 14.4 overs.

Highlights, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, 1st T20I at Colombo, Full Cricket Score: Proteas win by 28 runs
First Cricket News

Highlights, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, 1st T20I at Colombo, Full Cricket Score: Proteas win by 28 runs

Follow live score and updates from the first T20I between Sri Lanka and South Africa on our blog