Context: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released its fir-ever report on the blood pressure (hypertension), also known as silent killer.
- It is commonly known as high blood pressure, is a medical condition characterized by persistently elevated blood pressure levels in the arteries.
- It is typically measured as two numbers, systolic (when the heart beats) and diastolic (when the heart is at rest) pressure.
- Can be controlled effectively with simple, low-cost medication and preventive measures.
- Healthy eating, tobacco cessation, and increased physical activity can reduce blood pressure.
Key findings of the report
- Approximately 4 of every 5 people with hypertension are not adequately treated, but if countries can scale up coverage, 76 million deaths could be averted between 2023 and 2050.
- Report is based on the analysis of the data where blood pressure is 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or higher or a person is taking medication for the condition.
- The number of people living with hypertension doubled between 1990 and 2019, from 650 million to 1.3 billion.
- Nearly half of people with hypertension globally are currently unaware of their condition. More than three-quarters of adults with hypertension live in low- and middle-income countries.
Key findings about India
- Hypertension is the most important risk factor for death and disability in India.
- Only 37 per cent of Indians with hypertension are diagnosed and only 30 per cent get treated.
- At present, only 15 per cent of those with hypertension in the country have it under control.
- More than half of all the deaths in the country (52 per cent) due to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack can be attributed to elevated blood pressure.
- Primary triggers for hypertension in India are high salt intake, tobacco use (28%), obesity, alcohol consumption and lack of physical exercise (34%).
- In National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5 ) reported a hypertension prevalence of 24% in men and 21% among women in 2016-2020, an increase from 19% and 17%, respectively, from the previous round (2015-16).