"High blood pressure or hypertension is the leading risk factor for deaths claiming 1.5 million lives each year. One in three adults has high blood pressure. Males have a slightly higher prevalence of high blood pressure than females in almost all countries," the statement said.
WHO's theme for this year's World Health Day (April 7) is hypertension, or high blood pressure.
WHO added that India is not safe from this crisis.
"Lack of adequate physical exercise and leisure activities centred around television, computers, improved transportation facilities and mechanisation of jobs has contributed to high blood pressure at a very young age," said Pradeep Chowbey, director, Max Institute of Minimal Access, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (MAMBS) at Max Super Speciality Hospital.
"The WHO is assisting countries to develop national action plans and set national targets to track progress in preventing and controlling such diseases, including hypertension, and their key risk factors," the statement added.