WHO Revises Blood Pressure Control Guidelines
Recently, WHO released new guidelines to help countries improve the management of hypertension named the 'WHO Guideline for the pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults.'

A joint study was conducted by Imperial College London and WHO, and published in The Lancet. This study showed that within adults aged between 30–79 years hypertension has increased from 650 million to 1.28 billion in the last thirty years, according to the first comprehensive global analysis of trends in hypertension prevalence, detection, treatment and control, led by. Nearly half of these people did not know they had hypertension.

Hypertension significantly increases the risk of heart, brain and kidney diseases, and is one of the top causes of death and disease throughout the world. It can be easily detected through measuring blood pressure, at home or in a health centre, and can often be treated effectively with medications that are low cost. Dr Taskeen Khan, of WHO's Department of Noncommunicable Diseases, who led the guideline development said:

"The new global guideline on the treatment of hypertension, the first in 20 years, provides the most current and relevant evidence-based guidance on the initiation of medicines for hypertension in adults."

The new guidelines recommend 130 as the upper number threshold for starting medicines for anyone with risk factors or a history of cardiovascular disease and 140/90 for others. They also recommend the level of blood pressure to start medication, what type of medicine or combination of medicines to use, the target blood pressure level, and how often to have follow-up checks on blood pressure. In addition, the guideline provides the basis for how physicians and other health workers can contribute to improving hypertension detection and management.

Dr Bente Mikkelsen, Director of WHO's Department of Noncommunicable Diseases added: "The need to better manage hypertension cannot be exaggerated. By following the recommendations in this new guideline, increasing and improving access to blood pressure medication, identifying and treating comorbidities such as diabetes and pre-existing heart disease, promoting healthier diets and regular physical activity, and more strictly controlling tobacco products, countries will be able to save lives and reduce public health expenditures."

For more information visit:
https://www.who.int/news/item/25-08-2021-more-than-700-million-people-with-untreated-hypertension
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