Global Report on Hypertension


    Syllabus: GS2/Health

    In News

    • The World Health Organisation has released a report named “Global report on hypertension: the race against a silent killer”.


    • The report compiles data for the first time on the far-reaching consequences of uncontrolled hypertension, including heart attacks, strokes and premature death, along with substantial economic losses for communities and countries. 

    What is Hypertension?

    • Hypertension (high blood pressure) is when the pressure in blood vessels is too high (140/90 mmHg or higher). It is common but can be serious if not treated.
    • Symptoms: Severe headaches, chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or other vision changes, anxiety, confusion, buzzing in the ears, nosebleeds, abnormal heart rhythm.
    • Risk factors: older age, genetics, being overweight or obese, not being physically active, high-salt diet, drinking too much alcohol.
    • Lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet, quitting tobacco and being more active can help lower blood pressure. 

    Major Highlights of the Report

    • Global Scenario: High blood pressure causes more deaths than other leading risk factors, including tobacco use and high blood sugar.
      • The number of people living with hypertension doubled between 1990 and 2019. More than three-quarters of adults with hypertension live in LMICs.
      • High systolic blood pressure is the world’s leading risk factor for mortality.
    • Indian Scenario: In India, an estimated 188.3 million adults aged 30–79 years have hypertension.
      • About 67 million more people with hypertension would need to be effectively treated in the country to achieve a 50 percent control rate.
      • The prevalence of high blood pressure in India is slightly lower than the global average — 31 percent. 
      • An estimated 37 percent of these have been diagnosed and 30 pe cent are receiving treatment for it.
      • The India Hypertension Control Initiative, a large-scale hypertension intervention under the National Health Mission, has been recognised for its positive work done within the primary healthcare system.
    • Silent Killer: Hypertension affects one in three adults and presents with no symptoms – the “silent killer”. Almost half of people with hypertension are unaware of their condition.
    • Prevalence: About one-third of the world’s adults live with hypertension and are at risk of heart disease, stroke, or death.
      • Globally, the prevalence of hypertension is slightly higher among males (34%) than females (32%). 
    • Status of hypertension care: Currently, among adults aged 30–79 years with hypertension, only 54% have been diagnosed with the condition, 42% are being treated for their hypertension, and 21% are considered to have their hypertension controlled.
      • Only about one in five people with hypertension have controlled their hypertension. 
      • Treatment coverage is highest in the Region of the Americas (60%) and lowest in the African Region (27%).
    • Global Target: The world is not on track to meet the voluntary global target of a 25% reduction in the prevalence of raised blood pressure (uncontrolled hypertension) by 2025. 
    • Prevention: Increasing the percentage of people whose hypertension is under control globally to 50% would prevent 76 million deaths between 2023 and 2050.
      • Treating hypertension is one of the most important interventions to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4 of a one-third reduction in premature mortality from the leading noncommunicable diseases.
    • Recommendation: WHO supports the reduction of dietary sodium (and increase in potassium), the reduction of alcohol consumption, the control of tobacco use, the promotion of physical activity, and a reduction in air pollution to prevent hypertension.
      • The most effective ways to control these hypertension risk factors is via large-scale, population-level public health programmes.

    Source: TH