High blood pressure is the most common cardiovascular disease in the world nowadays, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) with around 20% of the world’s adult population suffering from the condition.

Hypertension affects around one billion people globally, a condition that leads to heart attacks and strokes. In the USA, the CDC tells us that in the US alone around 67 million adults (that’s one in three) has high blood pressure, costing the health services and the workplace around $50 billion every year.

Blood pressure sufferers more likely to take medications

As well as an increased awareness of the condition there’s also been more of a tendency for sufferers to take medication for high blood pressure rising from 59.4 percent in 1999 to 71.6 percent in 2008. Control of blood pressure also increased among US adults with high blood pressure. Among adults with high blood pressure the overall percentage with controlled BP rose from 31.6% in 1999 to 48.4 percent in 2008 and this was across the board for all racial and ethnic groups over the 10 year period.
Overall the findings of the report found that high blood pressure didn’t change over the 10 year period and there was a higher awareness of the condition, better treatment and better control. And more depth analysis showed that trends in population sub groups were in line with trends in the overall population with Mexican-Americans aged 18 to 39 the only exception to the rule.

Optimistic outlook for the US but not for less wealthy countries

This report suggests that incidences of high blood pressure may have peaked and that better awareness and medications may soon see a reduction in the number of cases in the US. Unfortunately the picture doesn’t appear to be the same in developing nations. With lack of education about the condition and under-funded health systems, the biggest rises in hypertension look set to be in these nations, according to the WHO.

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