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SA world health record for all bad reasons

Written by Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson.

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SA world health record for all bad reasons
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South Africa has highest world levels for high BP, obesity & physical inactivity

Baby boomers beware +50 years

This is not something that we want to brag about ... it just shows that South African are on track for a major disaster in noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attacks and kidney failure, heart failure and sooooo many other illnesses.

Being rich or poor, living rural or urban won't make any difference - just being over 50 years and not taking care of simple things like: exercise, eating right (low trans fat and salt more vegies) and getting your BP checked at least once a year. No smoking of course.

The WHO SAGE study published in February 2014 in the International Journal of Epidemiology notes about the SA part of the study

  • 78% high BP (either a systolic BP 140mmHg and higher OR note the or diastolic BP ?90mmHg)
  • women had consistently higher rates of high BP (note of caution not related to the study women don't always show typical heart attack signs)
  • only 38% with high BP were AWARE that they had high BP (hypertension)
  • most of those who were aware of their high BP were on treatment
  • BUT only 24% had effective high BP treatment (that is their BP was not a risk and below 140/90mmHg)
    obviously SA is doing a lousy job in treating high BP
  • 45% were obese highest in the world and a risk factor
  • 59% had low physical activity another risk "lifestyle" factor

Study leader Prof Lloyd-Sherlock said: “In many countries public awareness about hypertension remains very low, and the condition is not prioritised by national governments or development agencies. Unless this changes quickly, avoidable deaths and disability resulting from hypertension are set to soar. Interventions should include awareness raising, prevention and treatment. Ideally, we should persuade people to adopt healthier diets and lifestyles, but in the short run we should at least ensure they have access to effective treatment.”

Time for action South Africa

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