One of the key risk factors for cardiovascular disease is hypertension – or raised blood pressure. Hypertension already affects one billion people worldwide, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Researchers have estimated that raised blood pressure currently kills nine million people every year1.
Hypertension is a silent, invisible killer that rarely causes symptoms. Raised blood pressure and other risk factors such as diabetes often appear together. While some people develop hypertension as they get older, this is not a sign of healthy ageing. All adults should know their blood pressure level and should also find out if a close relative had or has hypertension as this could place them at increased risk.
Individuals who already have hypertension can actively participate in managing their condition by:
- adopting the healthy behaviours listed above,
- monitoring blood pressure at home if feasible,
- checking blood sugar, blood cholesterol and urine albumin,
- knowing how to assess cardiovascular risk using a risk assessment tool,
- following medical advice,
- regularly taking any prescribed medications for lowering blood pressure.