Nearly half of the population in Portugal suffers from high blood pressure, concluded a study that was presented recently at the seventh Portuguese Congress on Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk held in Vilamoura.
According to the Portuguese Hypertension and Salt Study, conducted by the Sociedade Portuguesa de Hipertensão, around 42.2% of the population suffers from high blood pressure. However, between 2003 and 2012 the number of people receiving treatment to keep the illness under control increased significantly from 38% to 74.9%.
Contrary to what had been expected, those under the age of 35 knew the least about high blood pressure and its consequences on their health, the study concluded. The Alentejo region registered the highest number of hypertension cases, followed by the north of Portugal, and it is believed this is due to the high consumption of salty foods which are closely associated with heart disease.
Although salt consumption has been reduced from an average of 12g/day in 2005 to 10.7g/day in 2012, it is still over the level recommended by the World Health Organisation, which is 5.5grams/day.