Globally, increased blood pressure is the leading cause of deaths and disability. An estimated 18% of deaths (9.4 million) and 162 million years of life lost were attributed to increased blood pressure in 2010. Approximately 4 in 10 adults over age 25 have hypertension and in many countries another 1 in 5 have prehypertension. One half of blood pressure related disease occurs in people with higher levels of blood pressure even within the normal range. Hypertension now disproportionately impacts low and middle-income countries.
Unhealthy diet is estimated to be related to about half of hypertension (About 30% related to increased salt consumption, and about 20% related to low dietary potassium (low fruit and vegetables). Physical inactivity is related to about 20% of hypertension and obesity is related to about 30% of hypertension. Excess alcohol and fat consumption also causes hypertension. Being tobacco free is especially important for people with hypertension. The United Nations has agreed to a 2025 goal of reducing hypertension by 25% and dietary sodium 30%. The World Hypertension League aims to work with national hypertension organizations, governmental and non-governmental partners to help achieve the United Nations Targets.