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Pan American Health Organization: Hypertension affects 180 million people in the Americas region

Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2023. 11:37 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Today is being observed around the globe as World Hypertension Day.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is urging the public to cut down on your salt.

“Add little or no salt when preparing your food,” the Ministry said.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, is urging countries to intensify efforts to improve the management of hypertension, a measure that could save around 420,000 lives in the Americas each year.

PAHO noted that while hypertension affects 180 million people in the Region (18% of adults) it “often has absolutely no symptoms nor signs and is therefore frequently undiagnosed and untreated,” Dr. Barbosa said.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the Americas and high blood pressure accounts for over 50% of CVD, PAHO reports.

“Unfortunately, in the Americas, over a quarter of adult women and four in ten adult men have hypertension, and the diagnosis, treatment, and control are suboptimal. Remarkably, only a few countries exhibit a population hypertension control rate of over 50%,” PAHO said.

Health experts are encouraged to promote accurate blood pressure measurement methods, and underscore the importance of improving hypertension control to live longer and healthier.

 

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