The Caribbean’s blood pressure rates rank highest in the Americas

Hypertension or raised blood pressure is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular diseases worldwide.  It is therefore not surprising that the non-Latin Caribbean has the highest mortality rate due to cardiovascular disease, accounting for 418 per 100,000 population.

Once more, this year, the Caribbean and the rest of the world will commemorate World Hypertension Day under the theme: Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.  CARPHA Executive Director, Dr. Joy St. John says, “The Caribbean region has the highest prevalence of raised blood pressure in the Americas ranging from a high of 27.1% to a low of 20.9%”.   She adds, “It is a cause for concern and action when in all Caribbean countries, hypertension is above the regional average for the Americas”.

CARPHA is therefore calling on governments, civil society, private sector, academia, community-based organisations, and faith-based organisations to take a whole of society approach and work together to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025 and premature mortality by a third by 2030.  The implementation of the following measures can help the Region to achieve these goals:

  • developing public education campaigns to improve public knowledge, attitude and practice towards hypertension prevention and control
  • establishing community screening programmes for the early detection of high blood pressure
  • ensuring capacity building of the health care workforce to accurately measure blood pressure, prevent and treat hypertension
  • promoting and supporting policies to assist with stress management, increase physical activity, reduce unhealthy food environment, tobacco use, alcohol use and air pollution

Through combined and coordinated efforts, CARPHA is also committed to continuing its work to increase awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure and to address the risk factors associated with the disease.

With the support of the French Development Agency (L’Agence Française de Développement), CARPHA is leading the updating of a clinical guideline for the management of hypertension in primary care in the Caribbean.

Other CARPHA-driven policies and guidelines include implementation of the six-point policy package to create a healthy food environment, such as, the implementation of the octagon-shaped front-of-package warning label “High-IN” model, where research has shown within and outside of the Caribbean to be the best performing system to help consumers correctly, quickly and easily identify products that contain excessive amounts of critical nutrients.

Additionally, CARPHA has developed a Framework for Reduction of Sodium in Caribbean populations, a major risk factor for hypertension.  The Agency is urging individuals to make this your year to commit to healthy living, a healthy lifestyle, and getting a regular check-up.  For those that have hypertension, CARPHA encourages you to take your treatment as instructed by your health care provider.

We are stronger together.

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9 Comments

  1. Nothing new
    May 19, 2021

    BobD is right but I do hope this is addressed seriously with the regional junk food factories, we know who they are, their products are on all our shop/store shelves. Our people buy all these items religiously, particularly for the kids to take to school daily. The kids even throw tantrum if they don’t get these sugar & salt items that have become like a tool for school. That has to be corrected! We must produce, promote and teach eating vegetables at home to help with this emergency.

  2. BobD
    May 18, 2021

    Afri-Caribbean Hypertension is directly related to Slavery, it is also Generational. History tells us that prior to Chattel, High Blood Pressure was unknown to Africans. Foods coming from Europe was everything salted, as it turned out, 400yrs of Salt indoctrination persist into playing havoc with modern day health. The Caribbean’s foreign taste, when added with Cadaver, Alcohol and Tobacco, is the end zone of Life’s journey. This is an opportune time for Caribbean Gov’ts to enact anti-Alcohol legislation, or else, a vast percentage of the Nation’ coffers will continue to be directed to the lost cause. The Afri- caribbean, after being immersed into Sugar-Rum-Tobacco as CHATTEL, is today being destroyed by the very commodity that have made them what they have become.

  3. Bussman
    May 18, 2021

    When all you can buy is cornbeef and sussage you doe must get high blood pressure… We doe have money for good food.. good food expensive.. price goin up but bloddy salary staying down.. madness .. dirty currupt government

  4. If we knew better
    May 18, 2021

    We dont eat properly. We think being fat is healthy. In dominica restaurants dont serve healthy meals at lunch time. night time even worse. Makes me want to open up a soup salad and sandwich bistro. Lately we see more people exercising, that is good, but the foods we eat and the quantities we eat have to compliment the exercise regimen.

  5. Fake Doctor
    May 18, 2021

    It would be very interesting if they had given us a breakdown of the high blood rate of each of the islands, just as we know how each of them are doing with covid-19. For example, We know Dominica is in the top 3 with best covid-19 record. But where are we with High Blood pressure, Diabetes and amputation? I wouldn’t be surprised if we are number 1 in all of the above because when one examines the record of PM Skerrit, since he became PM, one will realize that he as a so called Dr, has put Dominicans on a silent death medication, and though many are smiling and shouting”labor power” they don’t even realize that same labor power is killing them silently. Poor Diet, Stress, unhappiness and worrying are the major cause of High Blood Pressure and Diabetes, and thanks to the Fake Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, that what he had Dominicans on. So I wouldn’t be surprised if our HB pressure and Diabetes rate is 90% or more and as we continue to eat the rotten turkey and ham, expect it to get…

  6. Turkey & Ham politics
    May 18, 2021

    The Caribbean is in political crisis with some very corrupt politicians that are only concerned about their well-being and to hide in office, so I am not surprised. Let’s take a look at Dominica, my he country for example. When Roosevelt Skerrit forced his way into office in 2005, after the sudden deaths of two Prime Minister, he met a banana industry where several thousands of Dominicans earned a living. By 2013, the banana industry was no more which means thousands were left without a job, so they could meet their financial obligations which means they’re left to worry. Then Skerrit met a very strong Ross University that employed thousands of people and several took loans to invest in housing and transportation. By 2017, Skerrit shipped Ross to Barbados, which means many more were left without a job and forced into stress and worry. Meanwhile to stay in office, Skerrit find the best thing to do is load Dominicans with Turkey & Ham, that’s very high in Salt. So what do we expect?

  7. Waiting for Airport
    May 18, 2021

    How crazy is this? People in 1st world countries don’t have access to fresh healthy food – they forced to eat whatever the supermarkets put in front of them.

    People who have access to farming land, organic produce, naturally fed animals, regular sunlight, non-polluted air etc – choose to eat/live so bad that they lead the world in diseases related to lifestyle.

    • Toto
      May 18, 2021

      No wonder, we making so much noise and mwpwi we swallowing air instead of eating and living properly.That would make anyone blood pressure rise.

  8. ObservationOne
    May 18, 2021

    On the contrary, some would actually think that the Caribbean would be less likely to suffer from this problem, including myself. Specially islands who promote they are centers of nature. No offense there are public and private institutions locally promoting healthy lifestyle such as JNC, the department of Public Heath and our nurses and doctors.

    I guess what I would like to know is that; are we thinking wrong that just ‘eating local’ (provisions, greens, fish) among other things will prevent these diseases?

    Not a health expert.

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