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17thMay is observed as World Hypertension Day in all the populations around the world. "Know your numbers" is the theme for this year. Its purpose is to raise awareness worldwide about the importance of knowing what your blood pressure measurement is.
And, interestingly One in every eight Indian above 30 years of age is suffering from high blood pressure, a government study has revealed. The Indian Health Ministry study has based its findings on a screening of 22.5 million adults across 100 districts in India in the past year. Indian Health Ministry survey reportedly considered 140/90 mmHg as the threshold for the study among the people screened.
The National Family Health Survey 2015-16 (NFHS-4), the fourth in the NFHS series, provides information on population, health and nutrition for India and each State / Union territory. NFHS-4, for the first time, provides district-level estimates for many important indicators. Below is the link:
Hypertension has also been found in people living in rural areas where such a lifestyle condition was earlier hardly available. This can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke-paralysis and loss of memory. Fast-moving lifestyles, unearthly hours at work, stress, addiction to alcohol and unhealthy meals are making more and more Indians fall prey to high blood pressure at a very young age. The biggest problem with hypertension is that there are no symptoms. Thus people tend to be unaware that they have hypertension. So, you can always relate to such symptoms and should not take it lightly.
Dr Dinesh Agarwal, Senior Technical Advisor Health, Nutrition & Wash of IPE Global says high blood pressure is one of the biggest health risks the global populations face today. Health systems should be fully prepared to meet challenges of screening, tretamnet and management of complications for uncontrolled hypertension.
The new health and wellness centers under Ayushman Bharat aim to decentralize prevention and control of non-communicable diseases including hypertension right at village level.
ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, ANMs and self-help group members need to work with synergy in addressing this public health problem. Some of the messages should include importance of periodic checkup of blood pressure and treatment compliance if suggested. Other messages should be for modifying risky behavior. Consumption of tobacco, alcohol and fried foods (with transfats) should be avoided. Salt consumption should be considerably reduced as most Indians consume snacks, pickels etc which have high salt content.
In addition sparing some time for regular exercises every day is healthy habit. Large number of open gyms is coming up in neighborhood these days to promote exercise. People should also regularly monitor their body weight and keep same under control. Stress is another risk factor. Good sleep, practice of yoga can help in reducing stress. Children should be encouraged to undertake outdoor games/exercise in place of being hooked to internet all the times.
Health promotion is a key for prevention of hypertension. Screening and management in time can help in reducing burden of disease and one can have full life despite hypertension.
Whereas Dr Preeti Seth, Nutritionist, Pachouli Wellness Clinic, Delhi says "Foods that are very high in cholesterol, like caviar, liver, and the adrenal glands of bears, were highly valued in some cultures that also had very low rates of heart disease and other modern diseases. Likewise, many foods that are today shunned because they are high in saturated fat, such as grass-fed beef, egg yolks, coconut oil and butter, and therefore "bad" for your cholesterol are actually among the healthiest fats you can eat!
Image Source: Shutterstock
Source: Press Release
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