190,000 hypertension-related deaths reported in Ghana in 2019, Says WHO global report

190,000 hypertension-related deaths reported in Ghana in 2019, Says WHO global report: Ghana News

A global report on hypertension by the (WHO) has revealed that 190,000 people in Ghana died from hypertension in 2019.

The (GHS) estimated that, as of 2022, there are approximately 622,849 people living with hypertension in the country.

Globally, the number of individuals living with hypertension, characterized by blood pressure readings greater than 140 mmHg systolic or greater than 90 mmHg diastolic or those on hypertension medication, doubled between 1990 and 2019, reaching 1.3 billion.

The report emphasizes that high systolic blood pressure is responsible for over 10 million deaths annually, with hypertension control programs being neglected, under-prioritized, and significantly underfunded.

High systolic blood pressure, whether greater or less than 110–115 mmHg, is identified as the primary risk factor for premature death worldwide, resulting in an estimated 10.8 million avoidable deaths and a burden of 235 million years of life lost or lived with disability annually.

The report, titled “The Race Against a Silent Killer,” underscores that hypertension-related deaths are preventable through improved treatment and policies promoting healthy diets with lower sodium and higher potassium levels, along with improved treatments.

Presently, approximately four out of five individuals with hypertension are not adequately treated.

The WHO stresses that strengthening hypertension control should be a fundamental aspect of each country's journey toward universal health coverage, built on well-functioning, equitable, and resilient health systems founded on primary health care.

Hypertension is a severe, chronic medical condition that elevates mortality risks from cardiovascular and kidney diseases. It arises when blood pressure within the blood vessels (arteries) becomes too high.

This heightened pressure forces the heart to pump harder, causing damage to various parts of the body, especially the brain, heart, and kidneys.

Key factors contributing to hypertension include a poor-quality diet high in sodium and low in potassium, overweight and obesity, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and physical inactivity.

However, the condition and its associated complications can be addressed through a healthy diet low in sodium, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and engaging in regular physical activity.

  • Reporting by Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey: Editing by Adewale Adejoke

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