High Blood Pressure Around the World

High blood pressure estimated to affect 1.13 billion people globally

(RxWiki News) Across the globe, the number of people with high blood pressure has nearly doubled in 40 years, according to a new study.

This study found that an estimated 594 million adults had high blood pressure in 1975. By 2015, that figure reached 1.13 billion.

High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for kidney and cardiovascular diseases, according to the Imperial College London researchers behind this study.

To reach their findings, these researchers looked at 1,479 past studies that had measured 19.1 million adults’ blood pressure levels. 

The data revealed that the estimated number of adults with high blood pressure has dropped significantly in high-income countries, but it appears to have increased in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in nations in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The lead author of this study, Dr. Majid Ezzati, noted in a press release that high blood pressure has now been linked with poverty.

Dr. Ezzati and team noted that the apparent drop in the number of those with high blood pressure in high-income countries may be tied to overall better health, more consumption of fruits and vegetables and better processes for diagnosing high blood pressure. 

Some countries did not have the necessary data, which could limit the findings of this study. Other limitations included the lack of data sources in the years before 1990 in most regions and the fact that only 53 percent of sources evaluated adults over the age of 70. 

Speak with your doctor about how best to manage your blood pressure. 

This study was published in The Lancet.

The Wellcome Trust funded this research. Some study authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.