LONDON, September 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
A major review is calling for improvements in the way hypertension is treated on a global scale. The Lancet Commission on Hypertension cites 'unsolved areas' that if tackled could help reduce the burden of high blood pressure, the world's number one cause of death.
These include variations in the way blood pressure is measured and debate over safe levels of salt in the diet.
Launched today at the International Society of Hypertension's scientific meeting in Seoul, South Korea, the Commission says hypertension goes unrecognised because there are no symptoms and inadequate screening. Despite there being extensive knowledge about how to prevent and treat high blood pressure, hypertension affects 30% of adults worldwide.
Stuart Spencer, Senior Executive Editor at The Lancet, said: "Hypertension is the main cause of cardiovascular disease and often goes untreated. The report identifies a number of unresolved issues, for instance, how people in the developing world can access drug treatments and screening, and aims to prompt new ways of tackling hypertension, both from an individual and public health perspective."
Professor Neil Poulter, incoming President of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), said: "We are delighted the Commission has chosen to launch this very important report at our event. Hypertension is widespread and it is essential that we create awareness among health professionals and individuals on a global scale.
"The main risk factors are all those things that become more common as societies 'develop' - exercise less, drink more alcohol, consume more salt and calories and eat less fruit and vegetables. These factors sit alongside the ageing process itself that increases the risk of high blood pressure. We need to make sure that people know they have high blood pressure. The answer lies in improving knowledge and enabling more effective methods of screening."
The Commission examines epidemiological and trial evidence and emphasises where support is strong and where more research is needed. It claims the number of people with hypertension can be expected to increase in low-income and some middle-income countries if not counteracted by concerted action. It calls for more sophisticated methods of individualised treatment based on robust research findings and new research to fill knowledge gaps. It sets out ten priority actions it hopes will be adopted by governments worldwide to reduce the global burden of hypertension.
For the full report see: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31134-5/fulltext
SOURCE The International Society of Hypertension