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April 7th is World Health Day

By on February 4, 2013

To mark World Health Day on  April 7th, WHO is calling for intensified efforts to prevent and control hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Worldwide, high blood pressure is estimated to affect more than one in three adults aged 25 and over, or about one billion people.

Hypertension is one of the most important contributors to heart disease and stroke – which together make up the world’s number one cause of premature death and disability. Researchers estimate that high blood pressure contributes to nearly 9.4 million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year. It also increases the risk of conditions such as kidney failure and blindness.

People can cut the risks of high blood pressure by:

  • consuming less salt
  • eating a balanced diet
  • engaging in regular physical activity
  • avoiding tobacco use
  • avoiding harmful use of alcohol.

The prevalence of hypertension is highest in Africa (46% of adults) while the lowest prevalence is found in the Americas (35% of adults). Overall, high-income countries have a lower prevalence of hypertension (35% of adults) than low -and -middle income groups (40% of adults) – thanks to successful multisectoral public policies, and better access to health care.



World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Each year, a theme is selected to highlight a priority area of public health concern in the world.

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