A national commitment to improved blood pressure control would lead to significant health and economic gains
Globally, the leading risk factor for death is widely acknowledged as being raised blood pressure (BP).1 The Global Burden of Disease study found that a systolic BP of 110 mmHg and above accounted for 10.8 million deaths in 2019.1 This constitutes one in every five deaths,1 mainly due to coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. A report on deaths in Australia2 confirmed that also here the leading cause of death is coronary heart disease, followed by dementia and cerebrovascular disease — with coronary disease, vascular dementia and cerebrovascular disease sharing a common risk factor: raised BP. Australian data have shown raised BP to be responsible for 43% of coronary heart disease, 41% of stroke, 65% of the burden of hypertensive heart disease, 38% of chronic kidney disease, 32% of atrial fibrillation and flutter, and 3.6% of dementia.3,4
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