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High blood pressure is common, frequently undiagnosed, and rarely well controlled in low- and middle-income countries

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High blood pressure is a major problem in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), reports researchers who studied 1.1 million persons from 44 LMIC. They found that 18% had high blood pressure and that only 39% of them were aware of their diagnosis; among those who were aware, 30% had received treatment, and only 10% had controlled pressure. Fewer than 5% of those with high blood pressure in 10 of the 16 countries from sub-Saharan Africa included in the survey had controlled blood pressure.

This is a wake call. Have you checked your blood pressure lately? And, it’s not enough to simply know your blood pressure. The goal these days is to keep blood pressure under 120/80, if possible. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor in the global burden of disease. It is also treatable.

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