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World Health Day 2013 Calls on All People to Reduce Their Health Risks

On April 7, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Health Day in honor of its founding on this day in 1948. Each year, a new theme is selected to help call attention to global health risks and ensure people take the steps necessary to reduce their health risks.

This year, WHO is calling attention to hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Worldwide, high blood pressure is estimated to affect more than one in three adults aged 25 and over, or about one billion people.

Hypertension is one of the most important contributors to heart disease and stroke – which together make up the world’s number one cause of premature death and disability. Researchers estimate that high blood pressure contributes to nearly 9.4 million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year. It also increases the risk of conditions such as kidney failure and blindness.

In 2012, at the WHO World Health Assembly, governments decided to adopt a global target of a 25 percent reduction in premature death from noncommunicable diseases by 2025.

“Global leaders have agreed preventing and controlling high blood pressure is an important step to achieving this target,” said Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.

The WHO campaign to encourage people to measure their blood pressure is a response to the United Nations Political Declaration on Noncommunicable Diseases, which was adopted by Heads of State and Government in September 2011. The Declaration commits countries to make greater efforts to promote public awareness campaigns to further the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease and stroke, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases.

For more information on World Health Day and the 2013 awareness theme, hypertension, click here.

 

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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