The World Health Organization, (WHO) has revealed that 46 percent of adults in the African region countries are hypertensive with adult males tending to have a higher mean systolic blood pressure than adult females.

The report has Nigeria topping the list of males and females with  highest percentage of adults followed by Ghana, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe, and Cabo Verde. The gender comparison data rated Nigeria adult high with 51 percent for males and 49 percent for female hypertension, followed by Ghana with 41 percent male and 38 percent female. “Seychelles has 44 percent male and 36 percent female; Sao Tome and Principe has 41 percent male and 36 percent female while Cabo Verde record 44 percent male and 34 percent female.”  The WHO has said that the global average for the number of people suffering from the condition was about 40 percent and has blamed increasing urbanization and unhealthy lifestyles for the rise in cases.  The study reaffirms that hypertension remains a major problem, with the percentage of adults who are hypertensive ranging from 16 to 40 percent with a median of 31 percent in 36 Stepwise surveys conducted in the region. The five countries with the highest prevalence of hypertension were Seychelles (40 per cent), Cabo Verde (39 per cent), Sao Tome and Principe (39 per cent), Ghana (37 per cent), Niger (36 per cent) and Nigeria (35 per cent). Meanwhile, the five countries with the lowest prevalence of raised blood pressure were Mali (16 per cent), Eritrea (17 per cent), Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa, 17 per cent), Cameroon (17 per cent) and Togo (19 per cent). High blood pressure was often detected too late and was a silent killer, it added. If lifestyles do not change, more people in Africa could die from chronic illnesses, including diabetes and cancer, than infectious disease by 2030.

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