In 2018, the World Health Organization published data indicating that deaths caused or related to hypertension in Sweden reached 1,531 or around 2% of total deaths. However, out of the 10 million citizens of Sweden, approximately 1.8 million or 18% of the population have elevated blood pressure.
Among the 195 countries globally, Sweden is ranked 155th in terms of hypertension cases which isn’t really alarming when put into perspective but still calls for measures that prevent or mediate hypertension. In this blog, we’ll be talking about several facts involving hypertension in Sweden and how to avoid developing or minimize the risk of hypertension.
Sweden and Hypertension
For a country that ranks as third in the European Union regarding health spending, it’s no question that they’re miles ahead of other countries when it comes to healthcare. Their life expectancy is among the highest in the EU, and they provide excellent access to high-quality health care, which is worth the relatively high cost.
Although many Swedish people enjoy themselves even in old age, several people over 65 have chronic diseases and disabilities, with hypertension being one of them. Nearly half of Swedish people after 65 have at least one chronic condition (Heart attack, stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s).
While Sweden boasts a relatively low number of individuals suffering from Hypertension compared to South Africa, with 75% of their population being hypertensive, or the United States with around 45%, overweight and obesity among adults and even children are growing.
The leading cause of death in Sweden is Ischaemic heart disease which includes hypertension as one of the main causes alongside family history, diabetes, and obesity. Another intriguing fact about deaths in Sweden is that behavioral risk factors cause more than 30% of the deaths in Sweden as opposed to genetic dispositions, accidents, and other causes. Around 18% of deaths are attributed to dietary risks, which explains why Ischaemic heart disease is the leading cause of death.
To add to that, although it’s excellent news that Swedes report being in good health, with more than 77% of their population reporting to be in good health, low-income individuals are less likely to report being in good health.
This is partly because while Sweden does have excellent healthcare, it also happens to be very expensive when compared to other countries. To avoid and minimize the risks related to hypertension, it’s essential to understand the main causes, symptoms, effects, and treatments for it.
Hypertension, also known as High Blood Pressure, is a common medical condition that affects an estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide. Despite being such a common condition, it’s still quite a serious one, that if left alone, can affect the heart, brain, kidney, and other organs. It increases the risk of a lot of cardiovascular diseases like heart disease, stroke, and sometimes even resulting in death.
The development of hypertension for an individual isn’t often known and, in many cases, is caused by an underlying condition like a disease in the kidney, diabetes, or obstructive sleep apnoea. There are generally two types of high blood pressure.
If it’s not due to another condition or disease, it’s called primary or essential hypertension. If an underlying condition causes it, it’s called secondary hypertension.
Both types of hypertension are then classified into 3 rates. Mild hypertension (140–159/90–99 mm Hg), moderate hypertension (160–179/100–109 mm Hg), and severe hypertension (≥180/≥110 mm Hg). According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Patients in Sweden who reach the treatment goal of blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg rarely exceeds 20–30% of those who have been prescribed blood pressure-lowering drugs.
Fret not, however, as there are a lot of ways to avoid and minimize the effects of hypertension. Regular physical exercise, preferably at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, a heart-healthy diet that controls portions and includes vegetables, fruits, and limits unhealthy fats, and avoiding unnecessary stress is a great start.