World Health Organization reports on ‘devastating impact’ of high blood pressure – calls for physical activity to be used as prevention

By Tom Walker    20 Sep 2023

High blood pressure is a killer and WHO is now recommending physical activity as a preventative measure / Shutterstock/Prostock-studio

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its first-ever report on the “devastating global impact” of high blood pressure, along with recommendations on the ways to win the race against the condition.

The report, called Global report on hypertension: The race against a silent killer, shows how Hypertension affects one in three adults worldwide.

Despite being a common problem, approximately four out of every five people with hypertension are not adequately treated.

WHO estimates that if countries could scale up coverage, 76 million premature deaths could be averted between 2023 and 2050.

The organisation also calls for more emphasis being placed on prevention in curing the disease, with physical activity a key part of the equation.

“The prevention, early detection and effective management of hypertension are among the most cost-effective interventions in health care and should be prioritised by countries,” the WHO states.

“Increasing physical activity levels, exercising and eating a healthier diet – as well as quitting tobacco and reducing the amount of alcohol – all help lower blood pressure.

“The economic benefits of improved hypertension treat­ment programmes outweigh the costs by about 18 to one.”

The report was launched during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly this month.

Among other topics, the session addressed progress for the Sustainable Development Goals, including health goals on pandemic preparedness and response, ending tuberculosis and attaining Universal Health Coverage.

To read the full report, called click here.