Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular such as stroke account for 17.7 million deaths and are the leading cause. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), India accounts for one-fifth of these deaths worldwide, especially in the younger population.
“Lack of physical activities is one of the leading reasons of hypertension followed by CVDs and heart attacks. Obesity causes sleep apnea, which is also one of the leading causes of hypertension in the youth. In India, 4 out of 10 hypertensive youth have sleep apnea. It is good to get your blood pressure checked once a month as regular preventive screening is essential to curb rising hypertension and avoid other heart diseases caused due to hypertension. If you are a smoker, diabetic, or alcoholic, and your cholesterol is also high, you need to control and give up these habits to avoid hypertension. Bringing down BP abruptly is harmful to health; it is better to bring it down gradually. Preventive screening helps in curbing the upsurge of hypertension and stroke. But it is worrisome that the cases of hypertension have been rising amongst Indian youth,” Dr Sadiq Azam, Consultant Cardiologist, KIMS Hospital Hyderabad, said while throwing light on the causes of the early onset of hypertension in Indian setting during Wellness Matters show by IHL Care in association with HEAL Foundation.
Speaking about the rising incidence of heart attacks, the causes of hypertension and stroke during the Wellness Matters Show by IHL Care organised fortnightly on Thursday between 2 PM and 3 PM in association with HEAL Foundation, Dr Sameer Gupta, Group Cardiac Cath Lab Director, Metro Group of Hospitals said, “The number of adults living with hypertension worldwide has doubled over the last 30 years, with over 30 percent of Indians suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure). And 25% of heart attacks happen in people below 40 years of age. If you are in a stressful situation, your blood pressure may go up. Stress-related habits such as eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol can increase blood pressure. Certain chronic conditions also may increase your risk of high blood pressure, including kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.”
Adding further on hypertension, Dr Sameer Gupta, said, “There are two causes of hypertension – genetic and other underlying diseases and lifestyle factors such as endocrinal disease, kidney problems, diet and lifestyle, stress, lack of sleep, and high salt take. We need to improve our lifestyle and diet. By changing lifestyle and diet many patients turn normal from the hypertensive stage. Coronary arteries in Indians are higher than that of their western counterparts. Indians get heart disease 10 years earlier. Chronic hypertension increases the chances of the blockage of the heart, weakens the arteries and sometimes leads to stroke. Hypertensive stroke weakens the arteries and may lead to stroke. Both hypertension and stroke are more common in men than women. Obesity is one of the leading causes that increase the rate of hypertension.”
One in every four individuals older than 18 years in India has an increased blood pressure level. Hypertension is attributable to 10.8% of all deaths in India. Its prevalence has been on a steep rise over the past three decades both in urban and rural areas. This burden is expected to rise two times from 118 million in 2000 to 213.5 million by 2025, the experts revealed.
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