Hypertension is the most important risk factor for chronic disease burden across the world. Global burden of diseases study in year 2017 reported high systolic BP as the leading risk factor across the globe that accounted for 10.2 million deaths. Indians are more prone to hypertension and heart disorders, and are affected at a younger age than the Europeans.
The fourth District Level Household Survey reports an overall prevalence 25.3 per cent for hypertension in India that translates to around 207 million individuals. The rapid economic growth of India has been accompanied by demographic, lifestyle and cultural changes which in turn has significantly impacted the health status of Indians.
There are a number of key determinants for prevalence of hypertension in Indian population such as advancing age, changing lifestyle and dietary patterns, fitness status, alcohol intake, tobacco use, comorbidities, etc. Thus, there is an enormous challenge and an opportunity to improve the health status and prevention of chronic disease burden among Indians.Issued in Public Interest by USV PVT LTD
Obesity: Increasing ulnerability for hypertension
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.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patients in care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Thomas EdisonDisclaimer: 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.