WHO Report Highlights Hypertension as a Silent Killer
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently unveiled a comprehensive report shedding light on the global impact of hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. This “silent killer” is inadequately treated in four out of five individuals worldwide, according to the report. Furthermore, the report indicates that a staggering 76 million deaths could be averted by 2050 if countries take proactive steps to control and manage the prevalence of this condition. Specifically in India, the WHO report suggests that by 2040, 40 million lives could be saved if even half of the individuals aged 30-79 years with high blood pressure can successfully manage their condition.
Alarming Statistics in India
The report, titled ‘Global Report on Hypertension: The Race Against a Silent Killer,’ was officially unveiled during the United Nations General Assembly’s 78th Session on Tuesday. It reveals that a significant 188.3 million people in India are afflicted with hypertension, yet only 30 percent receive treatment for the condition.
To achieve a 50 percent control rate, effective treatment would be required for 67 million individuals with high blood pressure. The WHO report primarily relies on data regarding whether individuals with a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher are receiving medication for their condition.
Consequences of Hypertension
Hypertension is strongly associated with a heightened risk of heart failure, kidney damage, stroke, and heart attacks. For individuals with diabetes, it can also lead to blindness.
Natural Management of Hypertension
In addition to pharmaceutical treatments, several lifestyle changes can significantly contribute to better blood pressure management:
- Reducing Salt Intake: Cutting down on salt consumption can have a positive impact on blood pressure levels.
- Quitting Smoking: Smoking cessation is essential for managing high blood pressure and overall health.
- Moderating Alcohol Consumption: Limiting or discontinuing alcohol intake can help control hypertension.
- Balanced Diet: Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables supports blood pressure management.
- Stress Management: Employing stress-reduction techniques is crucial for hypertension control.
- Regular Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical exercise contributes to better blood pressure regulation.
- Monitoring Blood Pressure: Regularly measuring blood pressure levels allows for early intervention and management.
The WHO report serves as a reminder of the critical importance of addressing hypertension as a public health priority, both in India and around the world.