In May 2017, India launched its largest-ever screening program involving a population of around 25 lakh people. The large scale exercise was undertaken to evaluate and formulate the current statistics of hypertension in India.
According to the proposed data, current estimates say that about 40% of urban Indians over the age of 30 are hypertensive and for the rural population the figures are around 25 %.1 A prime reason for the drastic rise in the occurrences of the disease, especially amongst younger Indians is the drastic lifestyle change in the neo-middle class population of India.
THAT SOUNDS SCARY. WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS I SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR?
Hypertension is a condition commonly referred to as the silent killer as it is unable to define the initial disease with exact signs and symptoms. In severe conditions, the disease may show an array of features in different individuals like headaches, sleepiness, dizziness, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, etc. However, the symptoms are subjective with the single individual showing multiple features or in certain conditions the disease may be discovered on a routine examination.3
Early-onset of hypertension in the urban population includes lifestyle factors like increased obesity index along with a sedentary lethargic lifestyle with a lack of any physical exercise acting as major contributors. Also, consumption of high salt-diet, chronic alcoholism, smoking, and chronic stress have emerged as other major modifiable factors.4
Secondary hypertension is a condition in which the high blood pressure is the result of another underlying condition or illness, like kidney diseases, thyroid, pituitary or adrenal glands disorders, pregnancy, sleep disorders, or as an adverse effect of certain medicines prescribed for other diseases. However, the treatment of secondary hypertension depends on the identification and treatment of the underlying factor.
Urbanization and modernization have made life easy, but one can argue we have it too easy. Desk jobs, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle make us more susceptible to lifestyle diseases.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREVENT OR MANAGE HYPERTENSION?
Primary hypertension is a highly modifiable condition that can be managed with alteration in lifestyle including food habits, regular physical exercise and obesity, and weight reduction measures.
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INDIA TO SCREEN 25 LAKH PEOPLE FOR HYPERTENSION THROUGH MAY. MAY 1. 2017. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HYPERTENSION. RISK FACTORS FOR HYPERTENSION IN INDIA AND CHINA: A COMPARATIVE STUDY FUJUN WANG, V. K. TIWARI, AND HAO WANG. HEALTH AND POPULATION – PERSPECTIVES AND ISSUES 37 (1 & 2), 40-49, 201HYPERTENSION IN INDIA: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF PREVALENCE, AWARENESS, AND CONTROL OF HYPERTENSION