Hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved because of improvements to the treatment of high blood pressure, according to a new study.
The researchers also suggested an additional 50,000 cardiovascular incidents would be prevented over the next eight years.
Emanuela Falaschetti, who led the Imperial College London study, said: “Although the rates of diagnosis, treatment, and control of raised blood pressure remain suboptimal in England, our findings are still a cause for optimism.
“Whereas once the ‘rule of halves’ prevailed – half the general population with high blood pressure were diagnosed, half of those detected treated, and half of those treated controlled – now management in England is better than the rule of two-thirds.”
Hypertension is the single most important risk factor for an early death, causing an estimated 9.4 million deaths every year worldwide. Around 30 per cent of people in England have high blood pressure.
The study, published by The Lancet, used information from five Health Survey for England surveys carried out between 1994 and 2011.