High blood pressure problem is not confined to the developed countries only. In fact, it’s quite prevalent in poor countries, too. For the first time ever, high blood pressure rates are higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Based on their review of 2010 data from 90 countries, the researchers found that 31 percent of adults worldwide had high blood pressure, of which 75 percent were from low- and middle-income countries.
Between 2000 and 2010, high blood pressure rates fell 2.6 percent in high-income countries, but rose 7.7 percent in low- and middle-income countries.
This can be partially explained by the greater awareness of the dangers associated with high blood pressure and preventative measures in high-income countries, compared to poorer countries.
Senior author Dr. Jiang He said, “Aging populations and urbanization, which is often accompanied by unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as high sodium, fat and calorie diets, and lack of physical activity, may play an important role in the epidemic of hypertension (high blood pressure) in low- and middle-income countries.”
Lead author Katherine Mills suggested that high blood pressure needs to become a public health priority “to prevent future cardiovascular and kidney disease, and associated costs to society. Collaboration is needed from national and international stakeholders to develop innovative and cost-effective programs to prevent and control this condition.”
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Surprising cause of high blood pressure you didn’t know.