Hypertension: An Unrecognized Pandemic Due To Unawareness And Uncontrolled Blood Pressure
An Unrecognized Pandemic Due to Unawareness and Uncontrolled Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a major cause of a number of health problems like heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and kidney diseases. However, since the condition remains asymptomatic for many, there are people living with this condition being unaware. This leads to sudden emergencies and unmanageable situations putting the patient and their families under physical and financial stress.
World Hypertension Day is celebrated every year to generate awareness around this silent medical condition which is growing like a pandemic, even affecting the youth as young as 25 years of age.
The Hypertension Iceberg
The phenomenon of “hypertension iceberg in India” refers to the disparity between the aware and unaware fragment of the people, who all are suffering from hypertension. The hard-hitting fact is that around 60 to 70% of the total hypertensive people are not even aware that they are suffering from high blood pressure. As the tip of the iceberg, only 30% of the total are aware of their medical condition.
In urban India, around 33% of the population is hypertensive, out of which only around 42% is aware of its condition. Likewise, 25% of rural population is having high blood pressure and only 25% of them are aware of their hypertensive status.
Measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer!
The theme for World Hypertension Day, 2022 is to “measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer!” which is a clear message on the importance of regular monitoring of blood pressure.
Benefits of regular BP monitoring
- Regular BP monitoring helps avert sudden emergency and aids in seeking timely medical care
- Helps the doctor in diagnosing any other underlying medical condition
- Tracking BP and keeping a record helps make necessary changes in the treatment and medicine dosage
- Reduces the cost of expensive treatment for conditions caused due to uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Self-monitoring gives you a sense of responsibility toward your health
What happens with an uncontrolled hypertension?
The prevailing uncontrolled hypertension, due to unawareness, has many long-term risks for severe health complications. Even the risks are not well understood by people which leads to neglect of the medical care needed for managing the condition. However, if not managed, an uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to,
- Risk of heart attack and heart failure
- Kidney disease
- Cognitive decline
If you are already diagnosed with hypertension and prescribed with medication, then don’t ignore it. Take medicines on time and always follow-up with your doctor as scheduled. Monitor your BP level at home daily. The ultimate goal is to keep the BP lower than 140/90 which requires daily monitoring and seeking timely care.
There is a need to sensitize the people about regular check-ups and monitoring of their health condition so that this condition does not go undetected.
What to do this World Hypertension Day?
Each day comes with its own significance and we should contribute to it in the best possible way. This World Hypertension Day, gain more information about the condition and spread awareness on it. Here are a few things you can do.
- Raise awareness on hypertension, its symptoms, and the need for its care.
- If diagnosed with hypertension, take its treatment on priory and be sincere about it.
- Take the prescribed medicines on time and keep following up with your cardiologist.
- Do home monitoring of BP to track your health and stay informed
- Get yourself and your loved ones a yearly health check-up done, if not suffering from any medical condition.