Thiruvananthapuram: Over 30 percent of the world’s population, ie more than 1 billion of the world’s population is known to be affected by hypertension, Dr Naresh Purohit, Visiting Professor at the Thrissur-based Kerala University of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, said on Wednesday. “It is also a primary risk factor that leads to several cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, chronic kidney failure, dementia and arrhythmia. Hypertension is a growing problem in India and causes significant burden on the health system,” Executive Member of Indian Society of Hypertension Dr Purohit told UNI.
As per the recent Indian Council of Medical Research hypertension control report atleast one in every four Indian adults suffers from hypertension, but only about 10 percent get their blood pressure under control, Dr Purohit said while sharing his concern on the occassion of World Hypertension Day. Renowned Epidemiologist Dr Purohit averred that southern states have a higher prevalence of hypertension than the national average, according to the latest edition of the National Family Health Survey. While 21.3% of women and 24% of men aged above 15 have hypertension in the country, the prevalence is the highest in Kerala where 32.8% men and 30.9% women have been diagnosed with hypertension. He pointed that Kerala is followed by Telangana where the prevalence is 31.4% in men and 26.1% in women.
About one-fourth of women and men aged 40 to 49 years have hypertension. Even at an earlier age, one in eight women and more than one in five men aged 30 to 39 years have hypertension. He said that the prevalence of hypertension is higher among Sikhs (37% for men and 31% for women), Jains (30% for men and 25% for women), and Christians (29% for men and 26% for women) than the rest. He revealed that India forms 18 per cent of the world population and by 2025, it is estimated that the nation is poised to be the world’s most populous country.
Therefore there is an urgent need to improve hypertension care in the country so that it can have a decisive impact on the world at large. Noted physician averred that a sedentary lifestyle, higher beverage and salt intake as well as lack of sufficient sleep because of smartphone addiction are the reasons responsible for the persistent increase in the incidence of hypertension. Principal Investigator for the National Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme said that the disease is now being seen in adolescents and cases of hypertension have also been reported by schools.
“The biggest problem is that we have a large number of patients who are undiagnosed. A bigger proportion of hypertension patients are the ones who are diagnosed, but they don’t take their medicines properly, which leads to cardio-vascular diseases, kidney failures and heart attacks,” Dr. Purohit said. “Hypertension is not plaguing just the urban population but the cases are now being reported from rural areas as well. Sleep disorder is also one of the reasons behind the rise of hypertensive patients. People are sleeping less due to smart phone addiction,” he added. He said that the actual figure of hypertension patients in India is much higher because many cases remain undiagnosed. He also suggested a public awareness campaign on the disease