As Indians, it is our collective responsibility to make sure that our health is well taken care of and that we have access to quality medical services. According to a recent report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), better hypertension control can help avert 4.6 million deaths in India.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a serious condition that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other serious complications if left untreated. It is estimated that more than one-third of Indians suffer from hypertension, making it one of the most common health conditions in the country. While hypertension can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes, many people are unaware of the importance of controlling their blood pressure or taking the prescribed medication regularly.
The WHO report highlights the need to create awareness about hypertension and its risks as well as the importance of its timely diagnosis and treatment.?
The report shows an estimated 188.3 million adults aged 30-79 years live with hypertension in India. To achieve a 50 per cent control rate, 67 million more people with hypertension would need to be effectively treated.
Only 37 per cent of Indians have the diagnosed condition of high BP, of which 32 per cent are males and 42 per cent are females. Of the 35 per cent undertaking treatment, 35 per cent are females, while 25 per cent are males.
Currently, only 15 per cent of people have their hypertension under control (19 per cent female, 11 per cent males), the report said.
Uncontrolled hypertension is known to cause heart attack, stroke and premature death. The report showed that 52 per cent of deaths in the country due to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack can be attributed to elevated blood pressure.
Globally, hypertension affects one in three adults worldwide. About four out of every five people with hypertension are not adequately treated. But if countries can scale up coverage, 76 million deaths could be averted between 2023 and 2050, the report said.
“Hypertension can be controlled effectively with simple, low-cost medication regimens, and yet only about one in five people with hypertension have controlled it,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“Hypertension control programmes remain neglected, under-prioritised and vastly underfunded. Strengthening hypertension control must be part of every country’s journey towards universal health coverage, based on well-functioning, equitable and resilient health systems, built on a foundation of primary health care,” the WHO chief said.
To reduce the burden of hypertension-related deaths in India, it is essential to promote better awareness about the condition as well as encourage people to get their blood pressure checked regularly. It is also important to ensure that those who are diagnosed with hypertension take their prescribed medications regularly and make necessary lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, reducing salt intake and exercising regularly.
(With IANS Inputs)