Gujarat: Surge In Hypertension Cases Among Tribal Communities In Chhotaudepur

Gujarat: Surge In Hypertension Cases Among Tribal Communities In Chhotaudepur

This surge in cases is a wake-up call for the predominantly tribal population in Chhotaudepur, which includes communities such as the Rathwa, Bhil, and Naikda tribes.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Friday, May 17, 2024, 11:38 PM IST
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In an alarming development, Chhotaudepur district in Gujarat has reported more than 800 cases of hypertension in just one and a half months among the tribal communities. This significant rise in cases highlights the growing public health challenge posed by high blood pressure in the region.

The district health department, committed to addressing non-communicable diseases, conducted weekly health camps every Friday across various sub-centers from April to May 15. During this period, 30,385 individuals were screened, revealing that 875 of them were suffering from hypertension. This surge in cases is a wake-up call for the predominantly tribal population in Chhotaudepur, which includes communities such as the Rathwa, Bhil, and Naikda tribes.

In addition to the public health camps, a recent health check-up camp for government employees brought further attention to the issue. Out of 3,471 employees screened, 295 were diagnosed with hypertension. This initiative was part of a broader effort to highlight the importance of employee health and the moral responsibility of maintaining it.

The rise in hypertension cases coincides with World Hypertension Day, observed on May 17, which aims to raise global awareness about the condition. Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a medical condition where the force of the blood against the artery walls is consistently too high. If left unmanaged, it can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

Health experts attribute the rise in hypertension cases in Chhotaudepur to modern lifestyle changes. “Hypertension can be managed with proper diagnosis, regular medication, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle changes,” emphasized a health officer in the district. He stressed the importance of regular blood pressure checks, particularly from the age of 30, due to increased stress and sedentary habits.

“Once a concern for older adults, hypertension is now prevalent among younger individuals, with significant cases reported among those aged 20 to 30. The shift is largely due to increased stress and decreased physical activity,” the health officer added. To combat this trend, health officials advocate for regular exercise and a healthy daily routine as effective measures against hypertension.

Understanding the causes of hypertension is crucial for effective management and prevention. Primary hypertension, the most common type, typically develops gradually over years and is influenced by factors such as genetic predisposition, ageing, obesity, physical inactivity, a high-sodium diet, excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and chronic stress.

Secondary hypertension, which can occur more suddenly, is often due to underlying conditions such as kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid problems, and the use of illegal drugs like cocaine.

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