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Risk: Hypertension

Hypertension causes around half of all deaths from stroke and heart disease.

More than 1 in 5 adults, about one billion people, worldwide have raised blood pressure. Complications from hypertension account for 9.4 million deaths worldwide every year. Hypertension is the most important preventable cause of heart disease and stroke worldwide. Hypertension causes around half of all deaths from stroke and heart disease, and contributes to premature mortality. The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of damage to the heart and blood vessels in major organs such as the brain and kidneys.

In Trinidad and Tobago, 26.3% of persons surveyed had elevated blood pressure or were currently on anti-hypertensive medication (29.8% of males and 23.1% of females). A retrospective database study of data collected from 14 793 persons by the Ministry of the People and Social Development over the period August 2006 to January 2008 revealed a self-reported hypertension prevalence of 30.4%. This high prevalence of hypertension increases the risk of mortality from heart disease and diabetes, the two top causes of death in the country.