Title: World Health Organization Urges Global Action on Silent Killer: High Blood Pressure
Date: [Insert Date]
Byline: [Author Name] [BaltimoreGayLife] – The World Health Organization (WHO) has sounded the alarm on high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, as a global health crisis. In a new report released to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly session, WHO warned that 80% of adults with high blood pressure are unaware they have the condition, dubbing it a “silent killer.”
According to the WHO’s first-ever report on hypertension, approximately one-third of adults worldwide suffer from high blood pressure, with a significant concentration in low- and middle-income countries. This alarming prevalence puts individuals at risk of serious health issues, including stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney damage.
The international health agency defines high blood pressure as a reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher, even in individuals who are already taking medication to control their blood pressure. With the number of people affected by hypertension skyrocketing from 650 million in 1990 to a staggering 1.3 billion in 2019, hypertension has earned the title of the world’s most deadly and neglected condition, as described by former CDC director Tom Frieden.
Several risk factors contribute to the development of hypertension, including genetics, a high-salt diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and older age. However, adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco, and regular physical activity can significantly reduce blood pressure levels.
While lifestyle changes are crucial, medication may be necessary for many to effectively manage hypertension. WHO emphasizes that implementing improved hypertension programs is economically beneficial in the long run. These initiatives not only save lives but also reduce cases of stroke, heart attacks, and heart failure. WHO estimates that consistent and effective hypertension treatment worldwide could prevent millions of deaths and cases of heart disease by 2050.
To mitigate the growing crisis, WHO has introduced the “Hearts” technical guidance package. This comprehensive program provides risk-based cardiovascular disease management, which can be implemented globally. It includes counseling for a healthy lifestyle, evidence-based treatment methods, improved access to essential medicines, and advanced technology for diagnosis and monitoring.
Furthermore, WHO offers technical advice for healthcare providers on effectively managing hypertension treatment. By equipping medical professionals with the necessary tools and knowledge, WHO aims to forge a path towards better prevention, detection, and management of this silent killer.
As high blood pressure continues to claim countless lives worldwide, the urgency to address this preventable health condition cannot be overstated. By raising awareness, implementing effective strategies, and providing accessible healthcare, it is possible to save millions of lives from the devastating consequences of hypertension.
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