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National survey finds 28.5 per cent adults in India hypertensive

A multi-centric national survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Center for Disease Informatics & Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru has found that 28.5 per cent of adults in India were hypertensive. Among them, 27.9 per cent were aware of their hypertensive status, 14.5 per cent were under treatment and 12.6 per cent had their blood pressure under control. The prevalence of hypertension was higher in urban areas (34 per cent) in comparison to rural areas (25.7 per cent). However, poor awareness and treatment among rural adults vis-a-vis their urban counterparts were also noted in the survey.

The findings have been published in an international journal, the Journal of Human Hypertension. The paper titled, Hypertension Treatment Cascade In India: Results From National Noncommunicable Disease Monitoring Survey, explains the current prevalence of raised blood pressure, its awareness, treatment and control status in adults aged 18-69 years surveyed across the country.

The ICMR-NCDIR-led survey reveals higher prevalence of hypertension with lower treatment and control rates in the country. Data from the National NCD monitoring survey (NNMS) conducted in 2017-18 was used during the study. As part of this exercise, 10,593 adults aged 18-69 years were surveyed across the country.

The survey revealed that hypertension was more prevalent in persons of higher age, males among urban adults. People belonging to the older age group, females and individuals belonging to the richest quintile were more aware of their hypertension status. Among the hypertensives, nearly three-fourth (72.1 per cent) were undiagnosed, leading to higher burden of hypertension in the population. Of the 14.5 per cent under treatment for hypertension, almost 99.6 per cent were receiving treatment through the allopathic system of medicine. However, health education regarding the modifiable risk factors was inadequate and found to be as low as 10 per cent. Treatment adherence was also lower among rural residents (59.2 per cent), whereas their urban counterparts scored 83.2% on this count.

Dr Prashant Mathur, corresponding author of the study, said, “Recognizing the low awareness and high rates of drop-outs between the diagnosis of hypertension, its treatment and control calls for better planning of providing continuum of care for high blood pressure. Strengthening the high blood pressure screening and awareness strategies through all levels of healthcare delivery systems shall help in achieving better control at population level.”

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