Deadly duo: Urban India battles diabetes and high blood pressure

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A recent study revealed that a large number of Urban Indians are battling with the effects of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. (Reuters) A recent study revealed that a large number of Urban Indians are battling with the effects of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. (Reuters)
SummaryA study shows 6.34% of Indians suffer from diabetes, over 6% are hypertensive.

Twenty per cent of India's population in the metros and above the age of 30 years suffer from the deadly duo of diabetes and high blood pressure according to a large-scale government study released recently.

Over 4 crore people from across the country screened under the Government's National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, cardio-vascular Diseases and stroke (NPCDCS) has revealed that 6.34 per cent of the population is suspected to be suffering from diabetes and over 6 per cent are hypertensive.

Dr Upendra Kaul, Executive Director and Dean Cardiology, Escorts Heart Institute and Fortis Hospital says, “Unless we take strict measures, the deadly duo of high BP and diabetes will continue to take a high toll of our population. It leads to heart attacks, brain strokes, chronic kidney and early blindness and is preventable by taking preventive measures early in life.”

The survey results in urban areas of the country, including Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kamrup (Assam) has pointed out trends that almost 11 per cent people are suspected to be suffering from diabetes and 13 per cent are hypertensive.

Madhya Pradesh recorded the lowest diabetes(2.61 per cent). From the overall (16.91 lakh) of those tested, 44,133 people were found to be diabetic and 49,391 were hypertensive.

Sikkim recorded the highest prevalence of diabetes (13.67 per cent) as well as hypertension (18.16 percentage).

Gujarat had the second highest prevalence of diabetes (9.57 per cent) followed by Karnataka (9.41 percent) and Punjab (9.36 per cent).

States that recorded comparatively lower per centage of diabetes are Assam (4.91 per cent), Haryana (4.80 per cent), Kerala (4.79 per cent), Rajasthan (4.43 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (4.32 per cent). The remaining states which fell in the middle order rung for diabetes among those surveyed are as follows. Andhra Pradesh (7.42 per cent), Tamil Nadu (6.50 per cent) West Bengal (6.34 per cent), Jharkhand (5.44 per cent), Jammu and Kashmir (5.61 per cent), Maharashtra (5.64), Himachal Pradesh (5.78 per cent), Bihar (5.83 per cent), Orissa (5.89 per cent), Chhatisgarh (5.92), Uttarakhand (5.44 per cent)and Delhi (5.02 per cent).

According to doctors, high blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to and make worse many complications of diabetes, including diabetic eye disease and kidney disease. Most people with diabetes develop high blood pressure during their life.

“Compared to people with normal blood pressure readings, men and women with hypertension more often have coronary artery disease, strokes, blockages of arteries in the legs and feet as well as heart failure,” says Dr Kaul.

Studies show that people with pre-hypertension have a two to three times greater chance over 10 years of developing heart disease and this becomes worse in diabetics. The risk of cardiovascular event in a diabetic is at least twice than that of a non diabetic at all levels of high BP.

“Usually high blood pressure is called a 'silent killer' because it has no symptoms and thus it is important to monitor it regularly,” says Dr Kaul.

While Sikkim led the states in hypertension, Delhi also recorded a high (13.38 per cent) followed by Assam (10.49 per cent) Tamil Nadu (9.73 per cent) and Punjab (9.26 per cent)

The valley state of Jammu and Kashmir a total of 45,922 people (8.21 per cent) of those screened (5,59,208) were found to be hypertensive.

This is followed by Kerala (7.23 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (7.63 per cent), Maharashtra (7.35 per cent), Gujarat (7.24 per cent) Haryana (6.24 per cent) and Jharkhand ( 5.78 per cent).

People residing in the states in the north and the eastern region of the country fell on the lower side with Himachal Pradesh (4.97 per cent), Rajasthan (4.56 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (4.28 per cent).

The figures for the remaining parts of the country are Uttarakhand (3.45 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (4.30 per cent), West Bengal (3.33 per cent) Madhya Pradesh (2.92 per cent), Bihar (2.83 per cent) and Odisha (2.93 per cent).

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