News / Health

WHO: High Blood Pressure a Silent Killer

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan is seen speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in this May 21, 2012, file photo.WHO Director-General Margaret Chan is seen speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in this May 21, 2012, file photo.
x
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan is seen speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in this May 21, 2012, file photo.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan is seen speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in this May 21, 2012, file photo.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein
— The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than one in three adults, or about one billion people, is affected by high blood pressure. To mark World Health Day (Sunday, April 7), WHO is promoting the many steps people can take to reduce the risk of dying prematurely from what it calls a silent killer.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan led a tribute today to celebrate the founding of the World Health Organization on April 7, 1948. Every year, World Health Day marks this event by highlighting a public health issue. 
 
This year’s theme is hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, one of the most important contributors to heart disease and stroke. Chan says the effects of the condition create a global health crisis.
 
“Hyper-pressure contributes to nearly 9.4 million deaths due to heart disease and stroke every year and, together, these two diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide. And, hyper-pressure also increases the risk of kidney failure, blindness and several other conditions. It often occurs together with other risk factors like obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol - increasing the health risk even further.” 
 
Overall, WHO reports high-income countries have a lower prevalence of hypertension than low-and-middle income countries. It says the prevalence of this disease is highest in Africa, where nearly half of all adults have hypertension. The lowest is found in the Americas.

Preventable and treatable
 
The World Health Organization notes high blood pressure is preventable and treatable once it is detected. It is urging all adults around the world to get their blood pressure measured so they can take steps to control it.
 
WHO Chief Chan says high blood pressure must be taken seriously.
 
“It is a strong and reliable warning signal that health is at risk and that something needs to be done. But, hyper-pressure, ladies and gentlemen, is always a silent warning signal. What do I mean by that?  Usually hyper-pressure does not show any symptoms for years or even decades…. So, it is important that we take advantage of the early warning signal by taking our blood pressure regularly.” 
 
WHO says people can cut the risks of high blood pressure by consuming less salt, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco use and overindulgence in alcohol. If these life-style changes do not work, WHO says low-cost medication to treat the illness is available.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ngor Ngor Matem from: Uganda.
April 08, 2013 1:31 AM
World Health Organization (WHO) must take an actions and measure that will fight the two leading to early death such as obesity, diabetes, heart stroke, and many other dangerous diseases, it is worst ever here in Africa where I am, people died at early ages due to some cases above, therefore, WHO should came with precautions strategic uses against any threat to human life as many diseases are still flowing over the world wide.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid