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Hypertension: A silent killer

Hypertension is a chronic disease characterized by high blood pressure. It is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Ever on the rise, it is now one of the leading causes of premature death worldwide according to the World Health Organization. However, when detected at an early stage and treated appropriately, hypertension is a condition that can be controlled very well.

Understanding your blood pressure readings

When the doctor takes your blood pressure, the numbers measured indicate the pressure when the heart contracts and when the heart relaxes. They are expressed in millimeters of mercury and must not exceed 140 for the top number and 90 for the bottom number. When your reading is 120/80, it means that your blood pressure is within normal limits and all is well.


billion people worldwide between the ages of 30 and 79 have high blood pressure1


It is estimated that high blood pressure is the cause of 62% of strokes2


of adults with hypertension are unaware that they have it1


A silent killer

No warning signs

Patients with high blood pressure may experience dizziness, headaches, palpitations (see infographic below), but this is not always the case. Hypertension often has no symptoms, which is why it is called the “silent killer.” Screening may therefore be the only indicator of this condition, so it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly by a health care professional.

Screening is a quick and painless process and you get the results immediately.

You can also take your own blood pressure using a portable blood pressure monitor and discuss the readings with your doctor.

Infographic on the symptoms of hypertension

What are the risk factors?

Although there is no apparent cause of hypertension, several factors increase the risk, such as a diet too rich in salt, fat or sugar, lack of physical activity, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, being overweight, etc. By changing our lifestyle, we can take action to lower our blood pressure.

However, some factors cannot be controlled, such as:

  • Age: 40% of 65-year-olds and 90% of 85-year-olds suffer from hypertension.
  • Family history: When antecedents exist, this doubles the risk of hypertension and can affect younger patients.
  • Certain diseases or treatments which, indirectly, promote hypertension, such as renal insufficiency or hyperthyroidism.

The combination of these factors reduces blood flow and makes the heart muscle work harder. The excessive pressure on the heart weakens the arteries, making them stiff and promoting the appearance of atheromatous plaques (cholesterol build-up on the artery walls).

A hypertensive patient has fragile arteries and a heart that is fatigued.

Photo d'une main tenant un coeur

And Servier?

Servier is the 2nd leading global pharmaceutical group in hypertension and the 3rd in cardiology3. For over 60 years, we have been committed to addressing cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension.

As the profiles of hypertensive patients are quite varied, we are working on more personalized solutions to better meet the need for improved treatment compliance. For example, we are capitalizing on our expertise in cardiometabolism through a strategy of incremental innovation, with the development of Single Pill Combinations, or treatments that combine several active ingredients in a single tablet.

Finally, our MyHealthPartner website is dedicated to patients suffering from hypertension. It provides a wealth of information on chronic diseases and helps patients better understand their condition, associated risk factors, and symptoms.


  1. See your doctor regularly: Although effective medication exists, if hypertension is not detected, it cannot be treated.
  2. Take your medication as directed: If you are already on medication for hypertension, follow it carefully. This is called compliance and is essential for managing your blood pressure and successful treatment.
  3. Trust your loved ones: They are in the best position to spot the warning signs of hypertension and encourage you to stick with your treatment.

[1] World Health Organization – 2023
[2] Chapter 27 of the public health book Réussir ses ECNI in the collection Les Référentiels des Collèges. Item 221 – Adult Hypertension (
[3] IQVIA, Analytics Link / World 74 countries – MAT Q4-2022