New Delhi: Over the last two decades, hypertension is gaining significant prevalence in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) and a survey reports that hypertension is the third biggest risk factor for heart disease deaths. As per the report, the disorder increased by 23 to 42.2 per cent in rural areas and from 11 to 28.9 per cent in urban areas within the age group of 35-44 years. Moreover, nearly 90 per cent of patients who remain undiagnosed makes the scenario grim.
This is one of the first studies to report on the latest trends about the burden and management of hypertension from the low-income and middle-income countries, claim the authors of the report who are from the AIIMS and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted among adults (35-64 years), first from April 1991 to June 1994 and the second from June 2001 to January 2012. The first survey consisted of 5,535 individuals (3048 and 2,487 ) and the second survey had 3,969 individuals (2,052 and 1,917 ) from urban and rural areas, respectively.
Hypertension is a silent killer responsible for 57 per cent of all stroke deaths and 24 per cent of all coronary heart disease deaths in India. Morevoer, National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data reveals that about 9 per cent women and 14 per cent men in the age group of 15-49 years suffer from hypertension nationally.
The other important finding of the study, published in BMJ Journal, was the worsening of blood pressure levels over two decades. A significantly lower proportion of the population had optimum blood pressure (120/80-140/90 mm Hg) and more had pre-hypertension and hypertension. Small shifts in population blood pressure levels is known to lead to large increases in the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and also portends worsening of CVD epidemic in India, the report said.
Dr Avinash Verma, a senior cardiac surgeon at a private hospital, said, "Recent research shows that only about one-tenth of rural and one-fifth of urban Indian hypertensive population have their BP under control, which is such an alarming situation. Hypertension can lead to various health hazards including strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease, and can also lead to dementia. Best advice is to maintain body weight and cholesterol level, eat healthy and live healthy, do not skip your routine exercise and also go for regular health checkups and blood pressure check-ups."
The study concluded that there was no change in the overall awareness, treatment and control rates of hypertension between the two surveys in the NCR.