India forms 18 per cent of the world population and by 2025, it is estimated that the nation is poised to be the world's most populous country.
More than 50% of Indians who suffer from hypertension are unaware about their condition and less than 1 in 7 Indians (13%) take medicine for lowering blood pressure, according to the 2019 study by PLOS medicine. The most disturbing factor is that the study has found comparatively high hypertension prevalence even among the youngest age group comprising of those between 15 years to 29 years. This finding suggests a worrying state of metabolic health in the future and may pave the way for a high incidence of cardiovascular diseases in the coming decades.
The recent nationally representative PLOS study spanning 1.3 million Indian adults has indicated that 25 per cent adults suffer from high blood pressure and about 12 per cent of young adults (18 to 25 years) are also known to have high BP.
The study also indicates substantial variation pertaining to hypertension management in rural and urban areas and across different states.
According to the study, the only states to perform better in 3 out of 4 hypertension cascade steps than expected based on their GDP per capital are Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala.
From a policy perspective, the information related to which states perform substantially better than others and the age demographic can pave the way for taking adequate steps in terms of health care initiatives.
For instance, Tamil Nadu indicated the second highest proportion of persons aged from 15 years to 49 years with uncontrolled hypertension (28.8%) and second highest absolute number of adults in the aforementioned date range with uncontrolled hypertension.
The study highlights the disparities between states in terms of screening and awareness of hypertension diagnosis. Screening coverage of individuals with hypertension is highest in Haryana (93.5%)and lowest in Madhya Pradesh (61.3%). The awareness of the diagnosis of hypertension is shown to be highest in Puducherry (80.5%). and lowest in Chhattisgarh (22.1%).
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The highest absolute number of persons in this age range who showed uncontrolled hypertension are from Uttar Pradesh, followed by Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Other states where there is a clear urgency to manage hypertension are Puducherry (38%), Sikkim (28.4%) and Haryana (28.4%).
India forms 18 per cent of the world population and by 2025, it is estimated that the nation is poised to be the world’s most populous country.
The urgent need to improve hypertension care in the country can have a decisive impact on the world at large.