The global burden of hypertension – high blood pressure – is huge and growing, visiting expert Dr Mark Pecker told the Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) Grand Rounds event.
Dr Pecker, professor of clinical medicine in the division of nephrology and hypertension at Weill Cornell Medicine - New York, explained that hypertension is the largest risk factor for death in the world.
“Hypertension accounts for around 9.4mn deaths around the world per year, about 54% of them strokes and 47% heart attacks. It accounts for roughly one-third of the deaths in Europe and in Asia. Hypertension has also become much more common in low- and middle-income countries.”
More encouragingly, though, treating hypertension is an "extremely effective way of improving health outcomes", according to Dr Pecker. “Treating hypertension really works. So, when you lower blood pressure, you can reliably lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and related problems. Of all the risk factors for heart disease, it is by far the most treatable and easiest to deal with.”
Dr Pecker outlined the history of hypertension measurement and treatment, and discussed developments in treatment.
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