80 percent blood pressure deaths in developing world

May 2nd, 2008 - 11:20 am ICT by admin  

London, May 2 (IANS) The developing world now accounts for 80 percent of the deaths associated with high blood pressure (HBP) - earlier thought to be a problem only for high-income countries. A new study that assesses the extent and distribution of the problem worldwide has found that 7.6 million premature deaths (about 13.5 percent of the global total) were attributed to HBP.

About 80 percent of them occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

About 54 percent of stroke and 47 percent of heart disease worldwide were attributed to HBP - about half this burden was in people with hypertension, the remainder was in those with lesser degrees of HBP.

The study, by University of Auckland researchers, concluded: “Most of the disease burden caused by HBP is borne by low-income and middle-income countries, by people in middle age, and by people with lesser degrees of high blood pressure.”

Eastern Europe, central Asia, east Asia and the Pacific (including China), followed by south Asia (including India) bore the brunt of these HBP-related deaths, the study found.

More than one-third of all deaths in the lower-income countries of Europe and the central Asia region were related to HBP.

In terms of actual numbers of deaths related to HBP, high-income countries experienced 418,000 stroke deaths, 668,000 heart disease deaths, 109,000 deaths due to hypertensive disease, and 197,000 due to other cardiovascular diseases - a total of 1.39 million deaths.

These figures were dwarfed by those for HBP-related deaths in low- and middle-income countries: 2.5 million stroke deaths, 2.68 million heart disease deaths, 598,000 hypertensive disease deaths and 445,000 deaths due to other cardiovascular disease - a total of 6.22 million.

The findings of the study have been published in the latest edition of the Lancet.

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