High blood pressure a greater risk for stroke and heart disease in Asia says new study

October 14, 2005

A new study on risk factors in cardiovascular disease in Asia has found that blood pressure is more strongly related to coronary heart disease and stroke in Asia, as compared with Western countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

A paper from the George Institute for International Health on the outcomes of the study, to be published in the October 2005 issue of the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, notes that high blood pressure is a key risk factor for haemorrhagic stroke, which is relatively more common amongst Asian populations. A 10mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure was found to be associated with a 72% greater risk of having a haemorrhagic stroke in Asian groups, compared with 49% in Australia and New Zealand.

Recent data suggest that hypertension (high blood pressure) is higher in many Asian countries than in Australia. For example, around 28% of people in China are estimated to have hypertension, compared with 19% in Australia. In India and Japan, the percentages are higher still.

Prof. Mark Woodward, Director of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the George Institute, who authored the paper, explained that "Cardiovascular disease is already the leading cause of death in many Asian populations, but the relationships between risk factors and cardiovascular disease can differ in Asian and Western populations.

"A lack of data in the past has prevented the reliable quantification of such differences, which, if shown to exist, would suggest that different cardiovascular prevention and treatment strategies are required for Asia, as compared to western countries.

"By far the greatest amount of evidence for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease has come from the West, with very limited evidence from Asia. However, Asia is a huge region, where China alone accounts for approximately a fifth of the world's population. If western evidence is to be used as a basis for cardiovascular medicine in Asia, it is crucial to establish that the risk factors act at least in a qualitative sense in Asia just as they do in western populations", said Prof. Woodward.

In Asia, stroke is proportionately more common than in Western countries; in some Asian countries (such as China) stroke is more common than coronary heart disease, the predominant form of cardiovascular disease in the West. Haemorrhagic stroke, which is more likely than ischaemic stroke to be fatal, is proportionately more common in Asia than in western societies.

"By 2020, the annual mortality from cardiovascular disease will reach 25 million and will have the greatest impact on populations from the lower and middle-income countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Identifying regional differences in the strength and nature of the relationships between risk factors and cardiovascular disease mortality may assist in the allocation of limited resources for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in countries in which health systems are often severely under-funded and overburdened," Prof. Woodward noted.

"Given that increases in blood pressure were more strongly associated with haemorrhagic stroke and coronary heart disease in Asian populations compared with Australia and New Zealand, population-wide measures to lower blood pressure, such as reducing the consumption of salt, should be of particular benefit in Asian populations", he said.
To obtain a copy of the study papers, or arrange interviews, contact Emma Eyles, Public Affairs Officer, The George Institute for International Health on ph: +612 9993 4592, mobile: 0410 411 983, email: eeyles@thegeorgeinstitute.org or visit The George Institute website at www.thegeorgeinstitute.org.

Notes for Editor:

Epidemiology is the study of risk factors for disease in human populations.

Biostatistics is the branch of statistics related to medical and health applications.

Mark Woodward is Director of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division at The George Institute, Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Sydney and Honorary Consultant Epidemiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He has a PhD from the Department of Applied Statistics at the University of Reading, UK, where he subsequently worked for several years, most recently as Senior Lecturer in Statistical Epidemiology. Mark holds Honorary Professorships at the University of Glasgow and at Mahidol University in Bangkok, as well as an Honorary Senior Research Fellowship at the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit of the University of Dundee. He has previously been the Director of the Institute of Statisticians Training and Development Centre in the UK. Mark has extensive experience working in developing countries and with aid agencies, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Health Organization and the UK Department for International Development. Recently he developed a training package for the Millennium Development Goals, one of the key strategies adopted by the United Nations to reduce world poverty.

The George Institute for International Health seeks to gather evidence to address the growing problems of heart and vascular disease, injury, mental illness and neurological diseases through high-quality research, evidence-based policy development and a range of capacity development programs. Epidemiology and biostatistics are central to most aspects of The George Institute's research and development activities. Methodological expertise in these areas is concentrated within the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division at The George Institute. Staff in this Division contribute to study design and undertake data analysis for each of the Institute programs. In addition, the Division has its own research and development projects.

Research Australia

Related Blood Pressure Articles from Brightsurf:

Children who take steroids at increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clots
Children who take oral steroids to treat asthma or autoimmune diseases have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood clots, according to Rutgers researchers.

High blood pressure treatment linked to less risk for drop in blood pressure upon standing
Treatment to lower blood pressure did not increase and may decrease the risk of extreme drops in blood pressure upon standing from a sitting position.

Changes in blood pressure control over 2 decades among US adults with high blood pressure
National survey data were used to examine how blood pressure control changed overall among U.S. adults with high blood pressure between 1999-2000 and 2017-2018 and by age, race, insurance type and access to health care.

Transient increase in blood pressure promotes some blood vessel growth
Blood vessels are the body's transportation system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and whisking away waste.

Effect of reducing blood pressure medications on blood pressure control in older adults
Whether the amount of blood pressure medications taken by older adults could be reduced safely and without a significant change in short-term blood pressure control was the objective of this randomized clinical trial that included 534 adults 80 and older.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

Here's something that will raise your blood pressure
The apelin receptor (APJ) has been presumed to play an important role in the contraction of blood vessels involved in blood pressure regulation.

New strategy for treating high blood pressure
The key to treating blood pressure might lie in people who are 'resistant' to developing high blood pressure even when they eat high salt diets, shows new research published today in Experimental Physiology.

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.

Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.

Read More: Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.