High blood pressure 'world's biggest killer'

14 December 2012

High blood pressure has been revealed to be one of the biggest killers in the world, according to new analysis.

In 2010, high blood pressure, which is known as the "silent killer", claimed the lives of nine million people across the globe.

Researchers reported that following high blood pressure, mortality arising out of smoking and alcohol consumption were also leading to more deaths, overtaking child hunger.

The findings, which were published in The Lancet, noted that there is a "growing burden" of risk factors that lead to chronic diseases in adults, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

"But this global picture disguises the starkly different trends across regions," commented Professor Majid Ezzati, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, who was one of the lead authors of the study.

"The risks associated with poverty have come down in most places, like Asia and Latin America, but they remain the leading issues in sub-Saharan Africa."

The NHS has stated that up to 30 per cent of people in the UK have high blood pressure, but are unaware of it. If it is not detected early on, it increases health complications.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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