The National, Thursday 04th April, 2013
WORLD Health Day will be on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organisation in 1948.
Each year, a theme is selected that highlights a priority area of public health concern in the world.
The theme for this year is hypertension.
Hypertension – also known as high blood pressure – increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Uncontrolled hypertension can also cause blindness, irregularities of the heartbeat and heart failure.
The risk of developing these complications is higher in the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes. One in three adults worldwide has hypertension.
The proportion increases with age, from one in 10 people in their 20s and 30s to five in 10 people in their 50s. Prevalence of hypertension is highest in some low-income countries in Africa, with more than 40% of adults in many African countries thought to be affected.
However, hypertension is preventable and treatable. In some developed countries, prevention and treatment of hypertension, together with other cardiovascular risk factors, has brought about a reduction in deaths from heart disease.