54% people above 45 yrs suffer from hypertension: Study

Subhash Rajta

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 22

Himachal is rapidly working its way up the hypertension ladder. As per the data released by the Banaras Hindu University and the Grid Council after analysing the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI) among adults over 45 years across the country, a whopping 54.1 per cent of the population (above 45 years) suffers from hypertension and 42.1 per cent are in pre-hypertension stage in the state. Worryingly, the figures are much higher than the national average ndash; 44.9 per cent (hypertension) and 39.7 per cent (pre-hypertension).

Need to strengthen health services

The health services at the primary level must be strengthened. People above 30 years of age should be vigilant about their blood pressure. — Archisman Mohapatra, Executive Director, Grid council

While most states have logged high percentages, the numbers Himachal has thrown up has stumped the researchers. "For a hilly state like Himachal, where people lead an active lifestyle, the numbers are quite surprising," said Archisman Mohapatra, executive director, Grid Council. "We need to look at other risk factors such as diet, smoking and consumption of alcohol," said Mohapatra.

He further said that given the number of people suffering from pre-hypertension was also high, the state was heading towards a health crisis, if the required measures were not taken. "The health services at the primary level must be strengthened. Medicines must be available at the PHC and the sub-centre level, and people above 30 years of age should be vigilant about their blood pressure," he said.

Among the northern states, Himachal is second to only Punjab (60.1 per cent) in terms of the hypertension figures. All other states including Jamp;K (50.1 per cent), Haryana (52.3 per cent) and Delhi (50.7 per cent) have logged lower percentage than Himachal.

Incidentally, Himachal had fared poorly in an ICMR study on diabetes, too, a few months back. As per that pan-India study, the state had ranked seventh in terms of the prevalence of diabetes ndash; 11.5 per cent people were found diabetic as against the national average of 10 per cent. Also, the study had indicated that obesity, too, was on the rise in the state.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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