, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 444-449
Date: 29 Nov 2009

Recommendations for global hypertension monitoring and prevention

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In recent years, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have been recognized as the most common cause of death in the world, accounting for 30% of all mortality, with a growing burden in developing countries. In 2000, it was estimated that 26% of the world’s adult population (972 million individuals) had prevalent hypertension, a key risk factor for CVD, and this number is expected to increase to 29% (1.56 billion) by 2025. CVDs place a heavy burden on society and overall economic activity; they are ranked third in disability-adjusted life years lost. We now have a comprehensive understanding of the basic lifestyle modifications that decrease risk of hypertension and its associated sequelae, however, and it is clear that only modest lifestyle changes would be required to produce small reductions in population averages that would have a large impact, given the multitude of adverse outcomes attributable to high blood pressure. Hypertension therefore is an important public health issue. Considerably more research and standardization of surveillance methods are required to realize the existing opportunities to reduce the global burden of CVDs.