In the United States alone, one adult out of three has high blood pressure. Alarmingly, though, the number is even higher among people who are on the cusp of high blood pressure. The number of people with elevated blood pressure is on the rise worldwide.
Blood Pressure is on the Rise Worldwide
High blood pressure is dangerous and leads to the highest amount of preventable deaths each year. However, what researchers are finding is that the number of people who have elevated blood pressure is increasing each year.
In an American Medical Association study, researchers collected data on about 8 million people in 154 countries across 844 studies. The results show that elevated blood pressure and hypertension are rising.
The researchers focused primarily on the systolic blood pressure number, or the top number, that represents the pressure of blood vessels at each heartbeat. Higher systolic blood pressures correlate with heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Despite the massive amount of funding going into research to prevent and bring awareness to heart disease and high blood pressure, systolic blood pressure rates have increased over the last 25 years.
Dr. Gregory Roth, an assistant professor of cardiology at University of Washington and one of the study’s authors said, “We found that 3.5 billion adults have blood pressure high enough to bring some risk, and 870 million people around the world are hypertensive.”
In fact, in 2015, elevated systolic blood pressure was the main factor in preventable deaths, with more than 10 million deaths. That number is a whopping 1.4 times higher than the number in 1990.
The researchers also found that countries that lost the most health as a result of higher blood pressure were larger ones like India, Russia, China, the U.S., and Indonesia. Though these countries may be larger, they also have greater poorer populations, which is contributing to the fact that blood pressure is on the rise worldwide.
Being on the poorer end of the economy means that they usually do not get the proper nutrition required for good heart health and they cannot afford blood pressure medications. Unfortunately, that means they have a higher chance to continue down a road that leads to heart disease.
The positive side of this is that blood pressure levels can often be lowered by eating healthier and getting more exercise. Small changes like lowering sodium or walking more could make a critical difference in your overall health.
Also, start monitoring your blood pressure at a younger age. Many people think they don’t need to keep an eye on it until they’re in their 40s or 50s. If you keep track of it early on and are cognizant of its changes, you can prevent worsening risks.
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