BP incidence high in Telangana across ages

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 21, 2020 Published on January 21, 2020

The sudden death of noted neurologist AK Meena of the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad, in London, ostensibly due to hypertension-related complications has set alarm bells ringing.

According to reports she collapsed at an international medical conference in London recently. Having suffered a cardiac arrest, she could not recover and breathed her last while undergoing treatment. The 58-year old doctor was reportedly suffering from hypertension.

In this context, it’s significant to note that two recent and separate studies have found high prevalence of hypertension in Telangana State among children, adolescents and adults.

The first study has found that 14.2 per cent of the population between 15 and 49 years in Telangana have high blood pressure (BP). Hypertension was defined as systolic BP of at least 140 mm Hg or diastolic BP of at least 90 mm Hg.

The study based on data from the fourth National Family Health Survey (2015-16) was conducted by Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Called “Prevalence and associated risk factors of hypertension among persons aged 15–49 in India: a cross-sectional study”, it was published in a recent edition of the prestigious BMJ Open.

According to the lead author Soumitra Ghosh, “The prevalence of hypertension in Telangana is higher than the national average. While the prevalence is 18.9 per cent among males, it is 13.6 per cent among females. The prevalence was also found to be higher in urban (16.5 per cent) areas than in rural areas (12.6 per cent).”

“Worryingly, the disease pattern seems to be changing in urban areas of Telangana. While the proportion of people in the age group of 15-49 years suffering from hypertension is high across all groups, the poor are suffering disproportionately. This phenomenon of rising hypertension among the least resourceful people has serious social and economic implications for the state,” added Ghosh, who is also an Assistant Professor at TISS.

Meanwhile, another study conducted by the Government Medical College, Nizamabad, has found that 16 per cent of students were pre-hypertensive and hypertensive. The study classified pre-hypertension as systolic blood pressure (BP) between 121 and 140 mm of Hg and diastolic blood pressure between 81 and 90 mm of Hg. Hypertension was considered if the systolic BP was 141 mm of Hg or more and diastolic blood pressure is more than or equal to 91 mm of Hg.

Published in a recent edition of the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, the study was carried out with the financial support of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The study, conducted between June 1, 2017 and September 1, 2017, aimed at understanding the prevalence of hypertension and its contributing factors among adolescents. It covered 100 adolescents and young adults of both sexes between the ages of 17 and 25 from two randomly selected degree colleges of Nizamabad. Only students who consented were included.

Male students at 13 per cent were more prone to hypertension than females at 3 per cent. Similarly, overweight and obesity were found in 10 per cent males and 6 per cent females respectively. Around 33.33 per cent of overweight students had pre-hypertension and 16.66 per cent of students who were overweight had hypertension, the study points out.

Syam Sundar Junapudi, author of the study and Associate Professor, Department of Community Medical College at the Government Medical College, Nizamabad, said, “The overall imbalance between unhealthy diet intake and physical activity leads to obesity which contributes to high blood pressure. Obesity and family history of hypertension are risk factors for adolescent hypertension. There is an urgent need for initial prevention and treatment of obesity in children.”

K Sarat Chandra, former president of the Cardiological Society of India, said, “All the stakeholders including the government have to come together and evolve a national-level policy to curb this menace.”

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Published on January 21, 2020
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