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High BP 'out of control'

17th August 2007

Experts have warned that high blood pressure is out of control around the world.

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They predict that within the next two decades sufferers could exceed a billion with a major factor being poor compliance with treatment.

The condition – which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke – is suffered by one in four adults.

An editorial in The Lancet medical journal highlighted the problem and underlined the consequences of failure to act, saying: “Many patients still believe that hypertension is a disease that can be cured, and stop or reduce medication when blood pressure levels fall.

“Physicians need to convey the message that hypertension is the first, and easily measurable, irreversible sign that many organs in the body are under attack.

“Perhaps this message will make people think more carefully about the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle and give preventative measures a real chance.?

In the west a person has a greater than 90% chance of developing high blood pressures but lifestyle factors, fatty food, salt-rich diet and smoking and alcohol are seeing the problem spread to places such as China and India.

Professor Gareth Beevers of the Blood Pressure Association said: “This shows that high blood pressure is a ticking time bomb and should be taken seriously. This is preventable, if people of all ages start looking at their lifestyles and start taking the right action to reduce their risk.?

The British Heart Foundation said high blood pressure often remained undiagnosed until a person suffered something as serious as a heart attack or stroke.

 

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