High Blood Pressure is More Common Than You Thought

Doctors verifying patient's blood pressure.

Over one billion people across the world have high blood pressure.

According to the specialists, the number of patients suffering from high blood pressure has doubled over the past four decades to more than 1.1. billion people across the world.

During the most comprehensive study ever conducted monitoring blood pressure in each nation from 1975 to 2015, the researchers noted that the rates plummeted in wealthier countries. The scientists believe that this drop was influenced by healthier dietary choices and improved lifestyle.

The Statistics of High Blood Pressure

On the other hand, blood pressure rates increased in poorer countries, especially in South Asia and Africa, because of poor nutrition during childhood. This condition is also called hypertension, and it manifests in blood vessels and vital organs including the kidneys, brain, and heart.

Based on the estimates, high blood pressure is the primary factor influencing the development of cardiovascular disease that causes heart attacks and strokes. This condition kills around 7.5 million people every year across the world.

The study was conducted by specialists from the World Health Organization who joined their forces with many experts to measure blood pressure in around twenty million people. Based on the findings, the lowest blood pressure rates in Europe were found in Britain, whereas Canada, the United States, and South Korea had the lowest rates worldwide.

However, the highest hypertension rates were recorded in Asia. More precisely, 200 million people in India and other 226 million in China suffer from this condition.

The Main Factors Influencing the Development of Hypertension

According to Professor Majid Ezzati from the Imperial College London, compared to 1975 when hypertension was caused by affluence, now it is related to poverty.

Although the study findings do not point to a cause-and-effect link between poverty and high blood pressure, these statistics cannot be ignored. In addition to this, hypertension is also related to bad diets.

While wealthier countries have a higher average consumption of vegetables and fruits, patients who develop hypertension usually receive medical assistance in a short notice, Ezzati added.

Diastolic and systolic pressure are the two numbers that define blood pressure. Public health specialists underline that high blood pressure is usually caused by lack of physical exercise, a high salt intake, and a low consumption of fruits and veggies. Therefore, they recommend people to improve their lifestyle by becoming more active and adopting healthier dietary habits.

Image Source: Voedingnu

About Carol Harper

Carol Harper began her career as a screenwriter before turning to journalism. Before earning her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Creative Writing, Carol travelled across Europe and Asia to find both herself and inspiration. She enjoys covering health & science topics.