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Health commission warns Shanghai locals of high blood pressure risks

There are 6 million adults with hypertension in the city and only one third keep their blood pressure under control, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday.

Yesterday marked National Hypertension Day and the start of the city's cerebral and cardiac disease prevention and control week.

This year's theme is healthy heart rate and healthy blood pressure.

Hypertension is the most important risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. Due to the rising number of elderly and changing lifestyles, hypertension has become much more common in the city, the commission said.

Hypertension is also the most common risk factor for atrial fibrillation, or AF, a heart rhythm disorder. Hypertension and atrial fibrillation together can raise the risk of stroke three to five times compared to people without AF.

The commission asked residents to lead healthy lifestyles to reduce the chance of high blood pressure. It also recommended going to the hospital if they noticed any heart abnormalities to reduce the risk of having a stroke.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in China. About 2 million people have a stroke each year in the country with a 50 percent mortality rate.

In Shanghai, the incidence of stroke is rising annually. The incidence for urban residents is 280 per 100,000 people, doubling the national level. Among rural residents, the incidence for stroke is 185 per 100,000 people, local health experts told the Shanghai International Forum of Brain Health last week.


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