According to the World Health Organization (WHO), high blood pressure is a “silent killer” because four out of five people affected are not treated properly. With better education, diagnosis and treatment, the WHO estimates that 76 million lives could be saved worldwide by 2050. Likewise, 120 million strokes and 79 million heart attacks would be prevented. In its first report on the global extent of high blood pressure, the WHO wrote that one in three adults is affected.

Strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure

High blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart and kidney failure, and many other diseases. According to the WHO definition, blood pressure of more than 140 over 90 is considered excessive. For some people, it is the genes or age that contribute to the disease. Risk factors also include very salty food, little physical activity and too much alcohol.

The number of people with high blood pressure doubled between 1990 and 2019 – to around 1.3 billion people. However, almost half of them are not even aware of the problem. Three quarters of those affected live in low- or middle-income countries. The WHO praised Canada and South Korea, where more than half of all those affected are now being treated.