Global Health Observatory (GHO) data

Raised blood pressure

Situation and trends

Raised blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality. Raised blood pressure is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and ischemic as well as hemorrhagic stroke. Blood pressure levels have been shown to be positively and continuously related to the risk for stroke and coronary heart disease. In some age groups, the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles for each increment of 20/10 mmHg of blood pressure, starting as low as 115/75 mmHg. In addition to coronary heart diseases and stroke, complications of raised blood pressure include heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, renal impairment, retinal hemorrhage and visual impairment. Treating systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure until they are less than 140/90 mmHg is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular complications.

In 2015, the prevalence of raised blood pressured in females aged 18 and over was around 20% and males around 24%. The top five countries with the highest proportion of men with high blood pressure in 2015 were all in Central and Eastern Europe: Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, and Slovenia. Nearly two in five men in these countries had high blood pressure. The top five countries with the highest proportion of women with high blood pressure in 2015 were all in Africa: Niger, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Somalia. Around one in three women in these countries had high blood pressure.