“India is on the brink of a cardiovascular disaster and needs urgent measures to control BP levels”, says Dr. C. Venkata S.Ram, Director, Apollo Institute for Blood Pressure Management; Vice-president, American Society of Hypertension & Director, South Asia Region – World Hypertension League (in partnership with WHO)
This is significant considering that only 50% of those with hypertension are aware of their condition. In certain communities the awareness is as dismally low as 10%. Of those who are diagnosed, less than half are treated and only a small percentage achieve normal BP levels. WHD will raise the awareness levels and make individuals conscious about hypertension and the necessary precautions.
Briefing media about World Hypertension Day and its importance in Indian context at a Press conference at Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, Dr. Venkata said, India is unfortunately being dubbed as the ‘Hypertension Capital’ of the world, due to Hypertension
- Incidence being as high as 36% amongst adults in urban areas and 30% of the adults in the rural areas.
- Being responsible for 1.1 million deaths annually, accounting for nearly 11% of all deaths in India
- Afflicting ‘growing’ number of children and young
The Indian medical fraternity is gravely concerned about the impending threat of Blood Pressure overwhelming the Indian populace and we as a nation being on the brink of significant health related repercussions including cardiovascular disaster, stroke, peripheral artery disease, chronic kidney disease etc. This he says can be stemmed only through concerted measures to detect and treat hypertension effectively.
Hypertension also known as High blood pressure (high BP) is a major risk factor for heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke-paralysis and loss of memory, says Dr Ram. The normal BP level for all adults should be under 140/90 mm Hg day and night. If the patient also has diabetes, the BP level should be close to 130/80 mm Hg. According to him, once hypertension is documented, certain life style changes have to be made, including reduction of salt intake, alcohol consumption and weight, besides greater physical activity and use of individual anti-hypertensive drug or drug combinations as initial therapy.
According to Dr Ram, there are problems in effectively controlling High BP in India including non-compliance by patients in taking prescribed medicines regularly and stopping of taking medication once the BP level becomes normal under the notion that they are cured, he says.
The Apollo Institute for Blood Pressure Management, the only comprehensive centre in entire South Asia for the evaluation and treatment of high Blood Pressure with latest techniques, has advanced tools to accurately diagnose hypertension. The Institute has an automatic device to monitor and record Blood Pressure round the clock and provide entire BP profile. This is significant as BP level not receding during sleep can be ominous with risks of stroke, paralysis and heart attacks. The Institute and Blood Pressure Clinics at Apollo also have facility to check the blood pressure in the heart (central aortic blood pressure). It is the BP level in the heart which is the true indicator of the BP and not the measure of the BP in the arm. The Institute lays thrust on measuring the damage to heart, brain and kidneys from high BP and counselling on corrective treatment. The advanced protocols Apollo Institute for Blood Pressure Management, practices has contributed to it being designated as the South Asia office of the World Hypertension League (WHL)/ WHO, to co-ordinate BP control efforts in the region.