More and more individuals around the globe are living with high blood pressure, a new study finds. The research, based on data from almost 200 nations, estimates that more than a billion adult persons globally had hypertension in 2019—almost double the number estimated in 1990. Furthermore, more than half of these cases are going untreated, and few people are keeping it under control.
High blood pressure is usually defined as continually having systolic blood pressure 140 mm Hg or greater (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and diastolic blood pressure 90 mm Hg or greater (bottom number in a blood pressure reading). Though it typically does not cause any clear symptoms on its own, chronic hypertension can stress and harm the body, especially the cardiovascular system, over time; this then raises the risk of other conditions like stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease. In the U.S. alone, hypertension was estimated to accord to nearly 500,000 deaths in 2018.
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