A frightening new statistic has emerged—the number of people worldwide with high blood pressure has doubled since 1990.


High blood pressure is directly linked to more than 8.5 million deaths worldwide each year and is the leading risk factor for stroke, heart disease, vascular diseases, and renal disease. A major study involving University of NSW (UNSW) academics, recently published in The Lancet, analysed blood pressure measurements from more than 100 million people over three decades in 184 countries. The study found that over the past 30 years, the number of adults aged 30-79 years living with hypertension worldwide had doubled. That’s up from an estimated 648 million people in 1990 to 1278 million people in 2019—with most of the increase occurring in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs). Furthermore, the results reveal that despite being straightforward to diagnose, nearly half of the people with hypertension worldwide in 2019 were unaware of their condition. More than half weren’t being treated. In Australia, one in every three adults has high blood pressure.


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