- Title: High blood pressure driven by obesity, poverty - WHO study
- Date: 24th August 2021
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (FILE - JUNE 14, 2021) (REUTERS) WOMAN EATING PIZZA STANDS MAN EATING
- Embargoed: 7th September 2021 23:30
- Keywords: WHO hypertension obesity
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- City: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Europe,Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA003ERS1G7B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Nearly 1.3 billion people globally suffer from hypertension, a silent killer often driven by obesity that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said this week.
Hypertension can be easily diagnosed by monitoring blood pressure, and treated with low-cost drugs, but half of affected people are unaware of their condition which is left untreated, the WHO and Imperial College London said in a joint study published in The Lancet.
While hypertension rates have changed little in 30 years, the caseload has shifted to lower-income countries as wealthy nations have brought it largely under control, the study said.
Some 17.9 million people died in 2019 from cardiovascular diseases, accounting for one in three global deaths, with hypertension a major factor, according to the WHO.
Bente Mikkelsen, director of WHO's department of noncommunicable diseases said apart from genetic risk factors for hypertension, there are "modifiable risk factors" linked to lifestyle.
These include unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol consumption, uncontrolled diabetes, and being overweight, she said.
Referring to obesity, she said: "This is really the tsunami of the risk factors".
(Production: Yiming Woo)
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