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Trend of high BP in the young is extremely serious, warns expert

M Soma Sekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 17, 2016

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India is slowly, but surely notching its way up to the dubious distinction of emerging as the Blood Pressure (BP) capital of the world. Consider these national survey’s statistics.

The incidence is as high as 36 per cent amongst adults in urban areas and 30 per cent in rural areas.

It is the cause for 1.1 million deaths annually, accounting for nearly 11 per cent of all deaths.

It is afflicting a ‘growing’ number of children and young.

In short the country is on the brink of a cardiovascular disaster and needs urgent measures to control BP levels, says a leading expert C Venkata S Ram. Talking to newspersons on the eve of the World Hypertension Day (WHD), he said the theme of the day is ‘Know Your Numbers’.

Every adult should know their BP number-like knowing one’s weight. Get the BP checked. Otherwise, you are gambling with life, says Ram, who is also the Director, South Asia Regional Office of the World Health League.

All individuals should have a BP less than 140/90; those with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease should have a BP less than 135/85. BPs greater than 140/90 will cause irreparable damage and you will become a huge social/financial burden on the family. To live long and free of disease, keep the BP normal always — 24 hours a day. Urgent awareness is needed because only 50 per cent of those with hypertension are aware of their condition. In certain communities, the awareness is dismally low at 10 per cent. Of those who are diagnosed, less than half are treated and only a small percentage achieve normal BP levels.

Diagnosis of hypertension is easy and inexpensive whereas its’ complications are complex and very expensive. High BP can cause heart attacks, heart failure, stroke-paralysis, loss of memory, and kidney failure. Fortunately, one can diagnose high BP easily, get treated to remain healthy. If the diagnosis is doubtful, one can undergo 24-hour BP recordings with an automatic device – to confirm or exclude the diagnosis, says Ram, who heads Apollo Hospital Group’s exclusive BP clinics.

Hyderabad tops

Surveys done in Hyderabad by the Cardiological Society of India and by Osmania Medical College, and national studies — have shown that nearly 30-35 per cent of adults in Hyderabad and Telangana have high BP levels. But sadly, only less that 10 per cent know their condition.

Unfortunately, high BP is striking young individuals in our cities. BP should be checked even in schools, colleges, work place, IT industry, etc. The trend of high BP in the young is extremely serious and requires urgent attention.

With life-style changes, dietary caution and medicines, it is possible to lower your BP. “Mind you, BP has to be treated indefinitely. If you are on the medicine, you have to take it indefinitely and not cyclically. BP medicines are not like antibiotics — you should not stop the medicines — unless advised by the doctors,” he advised.

In some patients, there may be a reason why the BP has gone up so-called “ secondary” hypertension.

Such patients can be cured or improved by correcting the underlying cause. Thyroid gland disease, blockage of circulation to the kidney, certain kidney ailments —are some examples of secondary hypertension — possibly curable, he said.

Published on May 17, 2016
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