Is obesity a culprit for the burden of Hypertension among Indians?

Dr. Sanjay Kochar explains causes behind high burden of hypertension among Indians and focuses on the role of obesity

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Published: Feb 26, 2020 10:55:39 AM IST
Updated: Feb 26, 2020 11:36:20 AM IST

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In India, there has been significant increase in the prevalence of obesity over the last 10 to 15 years, with almost one third of the adult urban population estimated to be overweight or obese. The basic cause for obesity is an imbalance between intake and expenditure or energy. However, numerous factors have contributed to the rising prevalence of obesity among Indians such as lifestyle changes due to urbanisation and industrialisation, limited physical activity, poor dietary habits etc.

During obesity, the increase in fatty tissue increases the vascular resistance that consequently increases the workload on heart to pump the blood throughout the body. Primary hypertension is consistently gaining prevalence in association with obesity. Studies report that hypertension is 34 times more prevalent in obese children as compared to non-obese.

Though anti-hypertensive medications are helpful in lowering down the blood pressure, achieving weight loss can significantly reduce the blood pressure levels or may also permit a decrease in number or amount of medications taken. Several lifestyle changes like healthy diet composed of fresh fruits and vegetables, low salt and fats; being physically active with regular exercise; limiting alcohol intake can be helpful in reducing weight and hypertension.

Weight loss would surely be beneficial in managing your blood pressure if not to normal but at least to some extent with definite benefit on risk progression.

Issued in Public Interest by USV PVT LTD 

High blood pressure the 'Silent Killer' can quietly damage your body for years before symptoms develop. If it is not controlled in time you may wind up with a disability, a poor quality of life or even a fatal heart attack. Roughly half the people with untreated hypertension die of heart disease related to poor blood flow and another third die of stroke. Knowing more about high blood pressure can help you prevent its ill-effects in you or your loved ones. The better way to start learning is by bursting the myths associated with high blood pressure.

Several misconceptions cast a shadow over the truth about the identification, prevention, treatment and management of hypertension. It is very important that these myths be bursted to make people aware that blood pressure is a big deal that can be fatal if not controlled, and also that it is preventable and manageable. Learning about high blood pressure and how it can harm your health is the first step in controlling this condition so you can remain healthy for years to come.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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