May Measurement Month 2018 has been declared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as it kickstarts a month-long campaign to spread awareness about hypertension—how damaging it is to one’s life. Hypertension is considered a high-risk factor for morbidity and mortality in India.
Pointing out that 10.8 per cent of all deaths in India are caused by hypertension, ICMR has launched a month-long awareness campaign in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation of India and the International Society of Hypertension, along with over 50 partner institutions.
“In India, hypertension or raised blood pressure is one of the leading causes of premature deaths in India. Hypertension is directly responsible for 29 per cent of all stroke and 24 per cent of heart attacks in India,” Professor Balram Bhargava, secretary – department of Health Research and director general ICMR said at the launch of the campaign.
The campaign urges organisations and institutions to join the movement and help screen and spread awareness regarding raised blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for morbidity and mortality in India.
Aim of the campaign:
“The aim of the campaign is to spread the message of prevention and encourage people across various age groups to check their blood pressure at regular intervals,” Bhargava said.
Symptoms of hypertension:
According to medical experts, there are no symptoms and some only find out after suffering a heart attack or stroke, or are diagnosed with something else, such as heart or kidney disease.
How to prevent hypertension:
Hypertension, no matter how dangerous it is, can be prevented with change in dietary habits and lifestyle.
“This is preventable with lifestyle modifications which include physical activity, yoga and dietary modifications,” Bhargava said.
Precautions to be taken:
With the growing burden of disease and mortality due to increased blood pressure, it is imperative that a momentum is built among every member of the society in the country, across all age groups, to check their blood pressure regularly, said Dr Manas Pratim Roy, deputy assistant DG, DGHS.
Ten facts about hypertension or high blood pressure as stated by ICMR
1 Hypertension or high blood pressure is the most prevalent chronic health issue in India and its spread is increasing among both urban and rural populations, said Dr Dorairaj Prabhakaran, vice president, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and executive director — Centre for Chronic Disease Control
“Around 2.6 lakh Indians die in India due to hypertension. Hypertension is now the most prevalent chronic disease in India. This stresses the need for its effective management and control and it highlights the huge impact it can have on the burden of cardiovascular diseases,” Dr Roy said.
2 Hypertension has been long recognised as one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and premature deaths worldwide, and one of the most common lifestyle ‘Silent Killer’ diseases today, with every third person having suffered from it, he said.
3 Global data suggest that less than half of those with hypertension are aware of their condition.
4 High level of blood pressure — hypertension — causes approximately 9.4 million deaths each year worldwide.
5 Many of those who die never knew they were affected by hypertension.
6 There are no symptoms and some only find out after suffering a heart attack or stroke, or are diagnosed with something else, such as heart or kidney disease.
7 In India, hypertension exerts substantial public health burden on cardiovascular health status and the healthcare system.
8 Hypertension is estimated to account for 10.8 per cent of all the deaths and 4.6 per cent of disability-adjusted life years in the country
9 The adult hypertension prevalence has shown a drastic rise in the past three decades in the urban as well as rural areas.
10 It is estimated that 16 per cent of ischaemic heart disease, 21 per cent of peripheral vascular disease, 24 per cent of acute myocardial infarctions and 29 per cent of strokes are attributed to hypertension.