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Millions at risk from high blood pressure in China (CNA 6 Oct)

Millions at risk from high blood pressure in China
Posted: 06 October 2009 0912 hrs

china workers
A group of workers eat their lunch on the outskirts of Hefei. (file pic)

PARIS: Hypertension plays a part in 2.3 million cardiovascular deaths in China each year, doctors reported on Tuesday, pointing a finger at high levels of salt in the Chinese diet.

Health specialists led by Jiang He, a professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, made the estimate from a nationally representative sample of 170,000 Chinese aged 40 and over.

Extrapolating across the country, 2.3 million cardiovascular deaths in 2005 were related to raised blood pressure, they said.

Of these 1.3 million were “premature” deaths, meaning they occurred before the age of 72 in men and 75 in women, the average life expectancy in China in 2005.

Only a quarter of Chinese with high blood pressure are aware of their problem – and just 19 per cent receive drugs to treat it.

“Increased blood pressure is the leading preventable risk factor for premature mortality in the Chinese general population,” the authors say, describing their findings as “striking and unexpected.”

They call for hypertension to be placed on the same policy footing as preventing infectious disease.

Priority, they add, should be given to modifying lifestyle by reducing the “very high” use of salt in Chinese food.

“Treatment of hypertension reduces but does not eliminate all blood-pressure-related risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, primary prevention of hypertension should be an important component of any national strategy,” says the paper, published online by The Lancet.

“Prompt action will save millions of lives in each year.”

- AFP/sc

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4 Responses to “Millions at risk from high blood pressure in China (CNA 6 Oct)”

  1. This article saddens me. And brings home something that happened on my job. We had an employee have a heart-attack and die right in the office.

    It’s scary how hypertension and the pressures on the job have brought so many workers to the brink of serious health issues, if not death.

  2. Gilbert says:

    Sorry to hear about your colleague Kim.

    The high-salt diet of the Chinese is a major concern.

    Once you have eaten too much salt in your food, you are somewhat used to it.

    It will take a major shift of dietary habits to make the Chinese eat less salt in their food.

    Gilbert

  3. Kieran Adams says:

    Hypertension is very common among old men and women these days.;*.

  4. Reece Khan says:

    hypertension can be minimized by taking some food supplements like fish oil and CoQ10`-”

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