Global problem

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High blood pressure: a global problem

New research published in The Lancet* has found that high blood pressure causes at least 7.6 million premature deaths (about 13.5% of the global total) worldwide.

According to researchers, that means that almost one in five premature deaths each year are caused by high blood pressure and the problem is fast becoming a global epidemic.

Responding to the research, Mike Rich, Executive Director of UK charity the Blood Pressure Association said: "This research rightly shows the size of the global problem with 7.6 million deaths attributed to high blood pressure annually. The majority of the burden of high blood pressure is clearly being felt in the developing world and it is vital that something is done about it, but it is also clear that the UK picture is nothing to be proud of.

"Even with the availability of effective blood pressure lowering medicines and knowledge of the lifestyle changes that will reduce hypertension, the UK is still failing to effectively reduce blood pressure related disease.

"Every day there are 350 preventable strokes or heart attacks in the UK due to high blood pressure. This research highlights the continuing need for us to help the 16 million people in the UK who have high blood pressure, including the third who do not even know they have it."


Notes to Editors:

* ‘Global burden of blood-pressure related disease, 2001’ C Laws, S Vander Hoorn, A Rodgers, for the International Society of Hypertension, The Lancet. Friday 2 May 2008. To see a summary and the full article, click on this link:

BPA Media Contact: Sue Massey, BPA Press Office on 020 8772 4984.

The Blood Pressure Association is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity that provides information and support to people with high blood pressure and raises awareness to prevent the condition. Visit or call 020 8772 4994 for more information.

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