Hypertension is common but grossly neglected. To understand the prevalence of hypertension in society, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) plans to collect and study data, for which a series of free checkup camps for blood pressure would be conducted on May 17 on the occasion of World Hypertension Day.
Dr Jayesh Lele, president of the state unit of IMA, has instructed all the 37,000 members of the unit to conduct free BP checkups on May 17. “Untreated hypertension can lead to serious complications like brain stroke, kidney failure, congestive heart failure and retinal problems,” he said. To avoid this, screening for hypertension and proper treatment of the condition is essential.
Indus Health Plus that facilitates preventive health checkups revealed in a study that 10-12% of people under the age group of 25-35 years are under the risk of high BP, resulting from stress and ignorance of symptoms. The sample size for the study was 23,145 people who underwent preventive health checkups in the city during January 2015-April 2016.
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The report states that there is a rapid increase in the number of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart problems amongst Puneites. Stress-induced hypertension is increasing by 4% amongst the working population of Pune, said Amol Naikawadi, preventive healthcare specialist, Indus Health Plus.
Meanwhile, a study called Control of Hypertension in Rural India (CHIRI), funded by the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease (GACD) and National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRCA) said that despite hypertension affecting large numbers of people in rural and urban areas of India, very few people actually acknowledge that they have high BP. Fewer among them get their BP checked regularly.
“Very little is known about the emergence of hypertension in rural India, where 70% of the Indian population reside,” says Dr Rama K Guggilla, a research fellow at the George Institute for Global Health India. He added that while people should get their BP checked regularly, it is still not known what prevents them from doing so.