Hypertension Is Global Risk For Disability and Premature Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Gregory Roth MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and Division of Cardiology at the University of Washington

Dr. Gregory Roth

Dr. Gregory Roth MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and
Division of Cardiology at the University of Washington

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The number of people in the world with high blood pressure has doubled in the past two decades, putting billions at an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. In the current study, we aimed to estimate the association between systolic blood pressure (SBP) over 115 mm Hg, as well as SBP over 140 mm Hg, a condition known as hypertension, and the burden of different causes of death and health burden for 195 countries and territories over time.

In 2015, an estimated 3.5 billion adults had systolic blood pressure of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg, and 874 million adults had SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher. In addition, the rate of elevated SBP increased substantially between 1990 and 2015, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) and deaths associated with elevated systolic blood pressure also increased.

Countries of lower developmental status – measured by the Socio-demographic Index (SDI) – saw greater increases in the number of deaths linked to elevated SBP than the most developed countries. The largest percent increase in elevated systolic blood pressure deaths between 1990 and 2015 occurred in low-middle countries (107%), and the most deaths occurred in high-middle SDI counties (2,844,499 deaths).

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Elevated blood pressure is a major risk for health loss worldwide, and health systems, especially in countries seeing increases in health burden and mortality linked to blood pressure, should look to these findings to guide prevention policies and interventions.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further research should investigate how and why access and adherence to cheap, effective medications to lower blood pressure varies so much in the world. Also, researchers should focus on the impact of lifestyle modification to improve health for those with mild or moderate increased in systolic blood pressure.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.


Forouzanfar MH, Liu P, Roth GA, Ng M, Biryukov S, Marczak L, Alexander L, Estep K, Hassen Abate K, Akinyemiju TF, Ali R, Alvis-Guzman N, Azzopardi P, Banerjee A, Bärnighausen T, Basu A, Bekele T, Bennett DA, Biadgilign S, Catalá-López F, Feigin VL, Fernandes JC, Fischer F, Gebru AA, Gona P, Gupta R, Hankey GJ, Jonas JB, Judd SE, Khang Y, Khosravi A, Kim YJ, Kimokoti RW, Kokubo Y, Kolte D, Lopez A, Lotufo PA, Malekzadeh R, Melaku YA, Mensah GA, Misganaw A, Mokdad AH, Moran AE, Nawaz H, Neal B, Ngalesoni FN, Ohkubo T, Pourmalek F, Rafay A, Rai RK, Rojas-Rueda D, Sampson UK, Santos IS, Sawhney M, Schutte AE, Sepanlou SG, Shifa GT, Shiue I, Tedla BA, Thrift AG, Tonelli M, Truelsen T, Tsilimparis N, Ukwaja KN, Uthman OA, Vasankari T, Venketasubramanian N, Vlassov VV, Vos T, Westerman R, Yan LL, Yano Y, Yonemoto N, Zaki MES, Murray CJL. Global Burden of Hypertension and Systolic Blood Pressure of at Least 110 to 115 mm Hg, 1990-2015. JAMA. 2017;317(2):165-182. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19043

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Last Updated on January 11, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD