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Alarming new study finds number of people with high blood pressure has doubled over three decades | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: August 29, 2021 at 1:46 am


The number of people with high blood pressure across the globe has almost doubled over the last 30 years, and nearly half were unaware they had the condition.

A new studyconducted by researchers at Imperial College London and scientists from The World Health Organization found that the number of people aged 30 to 79 years with high blood pressure has increased from 650 million to 1.28 billion between 1990 and 2019.

The study, which was published in The Lancet on Tuesday, analyzed blood pressure measurement and treatment data frommore than100 million people in 184 countries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is diagnosed when the top number on a reading reaches 140 and the bottom number hits 90 on two separate readings on different days.

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The research shows that nearly 580 million people were unaware they had the condition, and roughly 720 million people were not receiving treatment from medicines designed to lower their blood pressure. The condition can cause significant damage to vital organs and is one of the major causes of death worldwide,according to the World Health Organization.

Nearly half a century after we started treating hypertension, which is easy to diagnose and treat with low-cost medicines, it is a public health failure that so many of the people with high blood pressure in the world are still not getting the treatment they need, Majid Ezzati, senior author of the study and Professor of Global Environmental Health at the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said in a release.

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Researchers also concluded the study highlights health care equity concerns given the disparity between wealthier nations and certain low-income regions. Meanwhile, the researchers note that although the overall case rate has remained largely unchanged, there has been a shift in burden to lower income countries.

Although hypertension treatment and control rates have improved in most countries since 1990, there has been little change in much of sub-Saharan Africa and Pacific Island nations. International funders and national governments need to prioritise global treatment equity for this major global health risk, Bin Zhou, a research fellow in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, who led the analysis, said in the release.

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Alarming new study finds number of people with high blood pressure has doubled over three decades | TheHill - The Hill

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