New Delhi [India], Mar. 25 : The findings of the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 confirm what we all knew from clinical evidence - that hypertension has become a major health concern among the Indian population, with as many as 22% Indians hypertensive.
According to the data, more men suffer from hypertension (15%) as compared to women, though the number of hypertensive women is also sizeable (9.6%).
While the prevalence of hypertension is widespread, what is more worrying is that awareness about its potentially serious complications is very low.
In fact, researches have indicated that only one out of five people are on treatment, putting a majority of untreated hypertensive patients at serious risk of stroke and heart attack.
Hypertension is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and the single most important risk factor for stroke.
It causes about 50% of ischaemic strokes and increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. "Hypertension is today a leading health challenge, on par with diabetes in India. It is a leading cause of death and disability due to heart attacks and stroke. Notably, a large number of stroke patients suffer from paralysis and have to lead restricted lives. Unfortunately, awareness about the need for regular blood pressure check is low. Also, a large number of people stop treatment on their own without doctor's advice. This can be life-threatening. Apart from treatment, taking preventive measures like obesity reduction, increasing physical activity, and decreasing salt intake will help you," says, Dr Anil Dhall, Director, Cardiovascular Sciences, Venkateshwar Hospital.