High blood pressure is the most prevalent chronic or lifestyle disease in India which is increasing rapidly among the urban and rural population..Quantification of the absolute burden and awareness about hypertension in India is critical as it is the leading modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Overall prevalence of HTN in India is approximately 30%. One third of urban adult Indians and close to one fourth of rural adult Indians are hypertensive. Among the general public , only one in fourth in the rural population are even aware that they have hypertension.
Hypertension and diabetes are major silent killer diseases,which by and large affect all the major organs of our body. The low awareness and treatment levels among hypertensive patients signify a lower knowledge ,attitude,and practice level. Current strategies to control blood pressure do not seem to be working too well. Hypertension is adequately controlled in barely 20% of the population undergoing treatment. In view of the dismal status, urgent steps to improve health education and health promotion measures have to be made by the policy makers on a large scale, incorporating multicomponent and multilevel approaches for better managing BP among Indians.
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. People suffering from hypertension may have headaches,giddiness,shortness of breath or bleeding from the nose,but these symptoms aren’t always present and usually don’t occur until the blood pressure has reached a severe or life threatening stage.
UNCONTROLLED HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE CAN LEAD TO COMPLICATIONS IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM;
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Decreased ability to think,remember and learn
RISK FACTORS OR INCREASED BLOOD PRESSURE IN INDIA ARE MAINLY;
- Smoking ,consumption of khaini or tobacco
- Sedentary habits
- Extra salt intake
- Low intake of dietary fruits and vegetables
Lifestyle intervention strategies,such as abstaining from tobacco,sodium reduction and weight loss,could aid int primary prevention of hypertension in our population.