Cardiovascular disease

World Hypertension Day 2019

Hypertension - or elevated blood pressure - is a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and blindness. It is one of the leading causes of premature death worldwide. Of the estimated 1.13 billion people who have hypertension, fewer than 1 in 5 have it under control. The main contributors to the rise in hypertension are unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. To achieve the global target to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025, WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Hearts Initiative in 2016.

With its five technical packages – HEARTS (manage cardiovascular diseases), MPOWER (control tobacco), Active (increase physical activity), SHAKE (reduce salt consumption) and REPLACE (eliminate trans fat) – the Initiative aims to improve heart health worldwide. The HEARTS technical package itself gives guidance on more effectively detecting and treating people with hypertension in primary health care. On World Hypertension Day, WHO joins the call for people to “Know Your Numbers”, adopt a healthy lifestyle and stay on treatment as prescribed.