12:31pm Monday 20 August 2018

One in three people have high blood pressure but many do not know it

A global study involving researchers from The University of Western Australia and the Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation has found more than a third of people have high blood pressure but many are unaware they have it.

The study was published today – World Hypertension Day – in the medical journal LANCET Global Health.

Researchers found 34.5 per cent of those studied worldwide had elevated blood pressure (above 140/90mmHg). Of those, 17.0 per cent were not receiving treatment and 46.3 per cent were receiving treatment but still had uncontrolled blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the biggest killer world-wide, accounting for more than 10 million deaths each year.

Lead author of the study in Australasia UWA Professor Markus Schlaich, who holds the Dobney Chair in Clinical Research at the Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation, said the researchers analysed data collected from 1.2 million of people aged 18 and older across 80 countries.

“What’s really alarming is that almost half of the people who were already being treated for hypertension still had blood pressure above recommended levels. In other words, half of the world’s high blood pressure patients are inadequately treated,” Professor Schlaich said.

“This is despite the availability of numerous blood pressure lowering medications and is largely due to people not taking the medication because they have had side effects or worry that they will have side effects.”

Free blood pressure testing booths have been set up around Perth as part of May Measurement Month 2018 and Professor Schlaich encouraged people to take advantage of them to find out if their blood pressure was under control or if they have undiagnosed issues.

The free blood pressure monitoring booths can be found at the following places:

• From now until 31 May at Curtin University, Notre Dame University and Murdoch University.
• 17-18 May at Royal Perth Hospital from 10am-3pm.
• 21-23 May at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital from 10am-3pm.
• 22-25 May at Rockingham Hospital from 10am-2pm.
• 29 and 31 May at Trigg Health Care Centre from 11am to 2pm.

There is a clinical hypertension trial underway and people with elevated blood pressure are encouraged to get involved by emailing justine.chan@uwa.edu.au or phone 9224 0209.

 

The University of Western Australia

 


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