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​MANAGING HYPERTENSION



  May 17, 2024

​MANAGING HYPERTENSION



The rising issue of hypertension globally, and particularly in India, has prompted a significant focus on understanding and managing this "silent killer". Hypertension remains the single largest risk factor for preventable early deaths worldwide, responsible for approximately 10.8 million deaths each year. In India, an estimated 311 million people suffer from hypertension, underscoring the urgency of addressing this widespread health challenge.

Importance of Managing Hypertension

1. Global and National Impact: Hypertension leads to more deaths than tobacco use and high blood sugar. Its prevalence nearly doubled over the past three decades, affecting over 1.3 billion people globally.

2. Preventable Nature: The condition is largely preventable and controllable through lifestyle changes and medication, yet awareness and treatment rates remain low.

Key Strategies and Interventions

Cutting Salt Intake: High dietary salt consumption is a major contributor to hypertension. Reducing salt intake can decrease cardiovascular risks by 30% and mortality by 20%. Despite this, Indian adults consume nearly twice the WHO-recommended amount of salt, emphasizing the need for drastic dietary changes.

Targeted Health Campaigns: Initiatives like the India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI) implement simple, scalable strategies through primary healthcare to manage hypertension. This includes simplifying treatment protocols, ensuring a reliable drug supply, and making healthcare more patient-centric.

Raising Awareness: Education about the dangers of untreated hypertension and its broad impact on the vascular system is crucial. Regular blood pressure checks and awareness about dietary salt are essential components of this education.

Future Directions

- SHAKE the Salt Habit: This WHO strategy focuses on reducing salt intake through surveillance, industry collaboration, standard labeling, public education, and promoting healthy eating environments.

- Multi-sectoral Action Plans: Developed in 2017, these plans aim to prevent and control non-communicable diseases, including hypertension. They need continuous evaluation and action to be effective.

- Regulation and Enforcement: Stronger food regulations and higher taxation on high-salt foods could significantly reduce hypertension rates.

- Regular Health Check-ups: Encouraging regular blood pressure monitoring in public places and during all health provider visits can help in early detection and management.

Conclusion

Efficiently managing hypertension requires a concerted effort from both public health initiatives and personal health practices. By focusing on preventive measures and enhancing public awareness, India can reduce the burden of hypertension and improve overall health outcomes for its population.


SRIRAM’s


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