High Blood Pressure High Blood Pressure

The World Health Organization’s ‘Crucial Report’ Maps Out a Strategy to Combat Heart Health Issues.¬†World Health Organization’s First Report on Global Impact of High Blood Pressure.¬†Tackling the Silent Killer.¬†The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its inaugural report on the worldwide effects of high blood pressure and how people can combat this “silent killer” that often presents without symptoms.

“This significant report by WHO sheds light on how common high blood pressure is and how it is on the rise globally, yet remains undetected and untreated at a global scale,” says Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, Director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York City, as reported by Fox News Digital.

“It persists despite lifestyle measures (such as reducing salt intake and weight) and the availability of common medications that effectively control blood pressure if applied correctly – a necessity for global health systems,” he added.

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In the world, one in three adults has high blood pressure. Without treatment, it can lead to severe health consequences, including stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, and kidney issues, according to the report.

Dr. Mark Siegel, a Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and medical contributor to Fox News, commented on the matter, saying, “High blood pressure is easy to understand. It’s a pump against resistance. The higher the resistance in the arteries, the harder the heart pumps, which can lead to its failure, or damage can occur due to inadequate blood flow, or an abnormality can develop, throwing clots and causing strokes, or the pressure can rise in the kidneys, causing them to fail.”

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Blood Pressure
Blood Pressure

Stage 2 high blood pressure is defined as 140/90 mmHg or higher. WHO notes that the number of people with high blood pressure at 140/90 or higher and those receiving treatment for it has doubled from 650 million to 1.3 billion from 1990 to 2019. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that if you suspect your blood pressure is in an unhealthy range, you should “know your numbers.” Approximately half of people worldwide are living without being aware that they have high blood pressure.

The majority of people with high blood pressure, 75%, reside in low and middle-income countries. Preventing and managing the condition is a global concern. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, stated in a press release that “high blood pressure can be controlled effectively through simple, low-cost medications, yet only one in five people with high blood pressure have it under control.” WHO predicts that if more people receive appropriate treatment for high blood pressure, emulating the performance of high-income countries, it could prevent 76 million deaths, 120 million strokes, 79 million heart attacks, and 17 million cases of heart failure by 2050. This would be a lifesaving achievement.

Countries with high income levels, such as Canada and South Korea, have initiated national treatment programs that have resulted in more than 50% of adults in those regions achieving blood pressure control. However, effective blood pressure control is achievable in all income brackets. More than 17 million people have been included in treatment programs in low and middle-income countries like Cuba, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka. To control blood pressure effectively, it’s essential to exercise regularly. This means at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, such as brisk walking, for most healthy individuals.

The American Heart Association also recommends tracking blood pressure regularly after its diagnosis and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and monitoring sodium intake. Reducing sodium intake can be achieved by eliminating table salt from your diet. According to the CDC, the average American consumes approximately 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily, and making a simple change in your lifestyle can mean leaving out the salt shaker. In 2013, all 194 WHO member countries pledged to reduce sodium intake by 30% by 2025, but a recent report states that only 5% have taken comprehensive action so far.

The AHA also encourages people to look for the “Heart-Check” mark on the packaging, which certifies that the product meets AHA’s strict standards for saturated fat and sodium content for heart-healthy eating. Exercising regularly is crucial for controlling blood pressure. This equates to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, such as brisk walking, for most healthy individuals. Spreading this physical activity throughout the week, perhaps 30 minutes a day on at least five days per week, is recommended. Additionally, people should engage in muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week. Stay tuned for more health tips in the coming months: They might just surprise you!

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By Areesh

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