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WHO Report on Global impact of high BP

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its first-ever report on the global impact of high blood pressure (hypertension).

More about the news

  • The report reveals that approximately four out of every five people with hypertension are not adequately treated.
  • Scaling up coverage of hypertension treatment could potentially avert 76 million deaths between 2023 and 2050.
  • Globally, hypertension affects one in three adults and can lead to severe health problems such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney damage.
  • The number of people living with hypertension doubled from 650 million in 1990 to 1.3 billion in 2019.
  • Nearly half of people with hypertension worldwide are unaware of their condition, and the majority live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The WHO recommends lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet, tobacco cessation, and increased physical activity, to lower blood pressure.
  • Some individuals may require medication to control hypertension and prevent related complications.
  • Prevention, early detection, and effective management of hypertension are cost-effective interventions in healthcare.
  • Strengthening hypertension control programs is essential for achieving universal health coverage and building resilient health systems based on primary healthcare.
  • India:
    • WHO report reveals that 4.6 million lives in India can be saved by 2040 if half of the hypertensive population controls their blood pressure.
    • Currently, 31% of India’s population, or 188.3 million people, have hypertension.
    • Only 37% of Indians with hypertension are diagnosed, and just 30% receive treatment. Only 15% have their blood pressure under control.
    • Over half (52%) of all deaths in India due to cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, can be attributed to elevated blood pressure.
    • Young people in India are at risk of future health issues if hypertension is undetected or uncontrolled.
    • Key triggers for hypertension in India include high salt intake, tobacco use, obesity, alcohol consumption, and lack of physical exercise.
    • The report highlights the India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI), a government program that screens and treats people with hypertension.
      • Adequate and uninterrupted availability of drugs is essential for the success of such programs.


World Health Organization (WHO):

·       It is the United Nations’ specialized agency for Health, founded in 1948.

·       It is an inter-governmental organization and works in collaboration with its member states usually through the Ministries of Health.

·       The WHO provides leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

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