In 2015, an estimated 3.5 billion adults had systolic blood pressure of at least 110-115 mm Hg and 874 million adults had SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher, said Christopher JL Murray from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington in Seattle.
Systolic is the top number and diastolic is the bottom number when it comes to measuring blood pressure.
Five countries accounted for more than half of global disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) associated with SBP of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg — China, India, Russia, Indonesia and the US.
The new analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was based on 8.7 million people from 154 countries across 844 studies.
The largest numbers of SBP-related deaths were caused by ischemic heart disease (4.9 million), hemorrhagic stroke (2 million), and ischemic stroke (1.5 million).
“These estimates are concerning given that in 2015, an estimated 3.5 billion individuals had an SBP level of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg,” the authors write.
The global obesity epidemic may further increase SBP in some populations, the findings showed.