Lessons from Global Brief on Hypertension by World Health Organization

- Apr• 16•13

The global brief on hypertension issued by The World Health Organization to mark its birth anniversary on April 7th serves as stark reminder of the massive global health care crisis caused by salt-induced high blood pressure. More than one billion people worldwide have high blood pressure! Yes that is one billion. And, nearly a 10 million people die each year from the consequences of that condition. Just think about those numbers, which are actually people.

The WHO report states that “hypertension is preventable” and calls upon governments, health workers, civil society, the private sector, families and individuals to join forces in order to reduce hypertension and its impact.

This news has been reported through numerous media outlets, and health care authorities of many countries have announced plans to curb high blood pressure. The most important action universally agreed upon finding ways to cut salt in our diet. But is anybody listening?

You might be focusing on the on the millions of  people who die every year from this one preventable cause. But let us talk about  what about the 990 million or more actually living with this unnecessary self-inflicted health problem. We know that half of them don’t even realize that their blood pressure is too high. The other half is taking on average three medications to get the blood pressure somewhat under control.  No wonder WHO is concerned about the resulting economic burden to the society.

The global magnitude of the toll caused by disabilities and dysfunctions caused by high blood pressure is just devastating. Yet the solution is ridiculously simple. Just cut back on the adding salt to your food. Do that one single thing and you avoid becoming one of the above statistics.

I hope you take the time read my book Salt Kills. Those who have read this book have become well aware of the dangers of adding salt to their food.

On a global basis, we need an effective counter to the propaganda machinery of the salt and processing industries. We have to get people to actually understand the danger of salt intake. People also need to understand that food will still taste good—and maybe even—better if you add less salt.  Our mission with Salt Kills fits well with the mission of WHO in its battle against high blood pressure. I hope you agree with me on the importance of spreading this message and join our mission to cut salt in our food.

 The following was taken from the global media release on hypertension,  a WHO publication:

Silent Killer, Global Public Health Crisis

Salt reduction initiatives can make a major contribution to prevention and control of high blood pressure.

Treating the complications of hypertension entails costly interventions such as cardiac bypass surgery, carotid artery surgery and dialysis, draining individual and government budgets.

Globally cardiovascular disease accounts for approximately 17 million deaths a year, nearly one third of the total (1). Of these, complications of hypertension account for 9.4 million deaths worldwide every year. Hypertension is responsible for at least 45% of deaths due to heart disease and 51% of deaths due to stroke.

 In 2008, worldwide, approximately 40% of adults aged 25 and above had been diagnosed with hypertension; the number of people with the condition rose from 600 million in 1980 to 1 billion in 2008.

The Global brief on hypertension, published on the occasion of World Health Day 2013, describes why, in the early 21st century, hypertension is a global public health issue. It describes how hypertension contributes to the burden of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure and premature death and disability.

 

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One Comment

  1. Janet Kaffenbarger says:

    How often should one take BP to track if it is high?

    Thank you for your information.

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