World Hypertension Day 2020: 50 % unaware of disease in early stage, say Experts

Indore: While the death audit report of Covid-19 suggested that hypertension is one of the major comorbidities, city experts revealed that 50 percent of patients remain unaware of the disease in the early stages and start treatment only when it turns worse.

Addressing a webinar, organised on the eve of World Hypertension Day, cardiologist Dr Rakesh Jain said, “About 80 million people in our country are suffering from high blood pressure and the number is even more than the population of the USA. The data also implies that every one person out of five is suffering from the ‘Silent Killer’.”

World Hypertension Day is celebrated on May 17 but it was postponed to October 17 due to Covid-19.

“This year’s theme of the day is “Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer”. Long-term hypertension among youths results in damaging kidney, liver, heart, brain and eyes and it severely hampers productivity between 45-50 years of age,” he said adding skipping health check-ups, popping pills without consultation, sleep apnea and prescription of certain drugs by physicians are factors responsible for hypertension.

Misdiagnosis can prove fatal

According to Health Management Expert Dr Vinod Jain, said a study of 19,000 Indians had revealed that 42 per cent of the participants were at risk of misdiagnosis as far as their BP was concerned either due to "White Coat Syndrome" or "Masked Hypertension".

“In White Coat Syndrome a patient's anxiety of being in a medical environment results in an abnormally high reading of BP. while masked hypertension occurs when the readings are normal at the office (work place) but elevated at home. The Indian heart study showed that 24 percent or 4,485 participants had white coat hypertension, while another 18 percent had masked hypertension,” he added.

Dr Jain said that readings should be taken multiple times before starting medicines for hypertension.

Key facts (as per WHO)

  • Hypertension - or elevated blood pressure - is a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risks of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases.

  • An estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, most (two-thirds) living in low- and middle-income countries.

  • In 2015, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women had hypertension.

  • Fewer than 1 in 5 people with hypertension have the problem under control.

  • Hypertension is a major cause of premature death worldwide.

  • One of the global targets for non communicable diseases is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025 (baseline 2010).

Ways to prevent hypertension

1. A walk for 30 minutes daily can reduce 8-10 mmHg blood pressure and so as reducing the weight

2. Should take DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet which includes reduction carbohydrate and salt intake.

3. Control your calorie count.

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