The Coronary Prevention Group recommends that your blood pressure should be tested at least every five years.(79)
The increase in the survival of the 1970's cohort in the Framingham study (43% reduction in coronary heart disease deaths) may have been primarily the result of improvement in the risk factors (i.e. better health education concerning the risks associated with high blood pressure, raised blood cholesterol, and smoking) in the 1950's cohort. (94)
About 10% of the population have a raised blood pressure. A lowering of the blood pressure results in a reduction of strokes and heart failure.(349)
As the blood pressure rises above normal there is an increasing risk of your developing a number of serious diseases in later life, especially coronary disease, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease.
It is estimated that a quarter of all deaths from coronary heart disease in those under 70 are preventable by the application of existing knowledge.(35)
Early intervention in high blood pressure reduces your risk of coronary heart disease. (66, 277) This is also true with the elderly. (330, 351)
The rule of halves applies to blood pressure. 10% of adults have a raised blood pressure. Half of these are undetected. Half of those that are known are not being treated. Half of those under treatment are poorly controlled.(349)
1999 has seen the publication by the World Health Organisation and the International Society of Hypertension new recommendations. They define hypertension as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mms Hg in those not taking antihypertensive medication. Target pressures are less than 130/80 in young, middle-aged and diabetic hypertensive patients and less than 140/90 in the elderly.(454)
Blood pressure is too high in a quarter of the world's population, and set to rise. (524)
Dropping a stone in middle age reduces the risk of hypertension by over 30%. (526)
Fewer than 1 in 10 patients with hypertension have their blood pressure adequately controlled. (531)
Hypertension continues to be one of the most important causes of death and illness and is expected to increase in frequency and affect up to 1.5 billion people by 2025. (532)
Blood pressure is the most powerful predictor of stroke and other cardiovascular events. The importance of salt intake in determining BP and the incidence of hypertension is well established. Randomised controlled clinical trials of moderate reductions in salt intake show a dose dependent cause-effect relation and lack of threshold effect in populations worldwide. The effect is independent of age, sex, ethnic origen, baseline BP and body mass. WHO recommends that the average salt intake should be reduced to 5g per day or less. Legislation to cut levels of salt in processed food is necessary and justified. (547)
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