High blood pressure affects 1 in 3

(MNN.com) — One in three adults suffers from high blood pressure, a key cause of strokes and heart disease, according to World Health Organization figures released on Wednesday.


Canada and the United States have the fewest patients, at less than 20 percent of adults, but in poorer countries like Niger the estimated figure is closer to 50 percent, the UN body said.


While wealthier countries have seen their cases drop thanks to effective, low-cost treatment, in Africa many remain people undiagnosed and are not getting help, according to the WHO.


Its World Health Statistics report includes figures on raised blood pressure, and also on blood glucose levels, for the first time this year.


One in 10 people are estimated to have diabetes, rising to up to one third in Pacific Island countries.


“This report is further evidence of the dramatic increase in the conditions that trigger heart disease and other chronic illnesses, particularly in low and middle-income countries,” said WHO director general Margaret Chan.


“In some African countries, as much as half the adult population has high blood pressure.”


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