Title: WHO Report Highlights Urgent Need for Improved Hypertension Treatment and Prevention Strategies
According to a new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the global impact of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, highlights the urgent need for improved treatment and prevention strategies. The report reveals alarming statistics, with approximately 4 out of every 5 people with hypertension not receiving adequate treatment, leading to devastating health consequences.
Hypertension affects a staggering 1 in 3 adults worldwide and can result in serious conditions such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney damage, and more. Shockingly, the number of people living with hypertension has doubled between 1990 and 2019, reaching a staggering 1.3 billion. Even more concerning is the fact that nearly half of those with hypertension are not even aware of their condition.
Various risk factors contribute to the development of hypertension, including age, genetics, high-salt diets, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol consumption. However, lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthier diet, quitting tobacco, and engaging in regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure. For some individuals, medications may be necessary to effectively manage hypertension.
The prevention, early detection, and effective management of hypertension are crucial and cost-effective interventions in healthcare. The WHO report emphasizes that strengthening hypertension control should be a priority for countries as part of their national health benefit packages. In fact, the report highlights the significant economic benefits of improved hypertension treatment programs, outweighing the costs by about 18 to 1.
To achieve effective hypertension care, the report recommends implementing WHO-recommended strategies such as practical treatment protocols, medication and equipment supply, team-based care, patient-centered services, and user-centered information systems. Successful hypertension care programs have already been implemented in countries like Bangladesh, Cuba, India, Sri Lanka, Canada, and South Korea, resulting in improved blood pressure control and reduced cases of strokes and heart attacks.
Preventing high blood pressure-related deaths requires the commitment of governments worldwide. WHO has partnered with Resolve to Save Lives to support countries in implementing the HEARTS technical package, which provides affordable, safe, and accessible medications. Additionally, WHO has received support from Bloomberg Philanthropies to save lives through global efforts.
Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, emphasizes the affordability and accessibility of good hypertension care, calling for the commitment of governments worldwide to address this critical health issue.
For more information on the global impact of high blood pressure and the HEARTS package, refer to the complete report released by the World Health Organization.
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