The number of people afflicted by high blood pressure will surpass the 1.5 billion mark within the next 20 years, scientists have predicted.
An editorial which appears in the Lancet medical journal suggests the number of people suffering from the condition, which increases the incidence of heart disease, stroke and fatality in patients, will hit at least 1.56 billion by 2025 - up from 972 million in 2000.
Worryingly, the biggest cause of the complication is a failure to comply with the subscribed treatment, the experts have claimed.
"Many patients still believe that hypertension is a disease that can be cured, and stop or reduce medication when blood pressure levels fall," they detailed in the Cardiology Special Edition of the publication.
Lifestyle factors such as salt-rich diets and alcohol and tobacco use are also contributing to the spread of the affliction - especially in developing countries such as China and India.
According to Professor Gareth Beevers of the Blood Pressure Association, the results of the survey highlight the severity of the situation.
"This shows that high blood pressure is a ticking time bomb and should be taken seriously," he told the BBC.
"This is preventable, if people of all ages start looking at their lifestyles and start taking the right action to reduce their risk."
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