With 30% of deaths in India attributed to hypertension and diseases triggered by it, health experts across the country on Monday cautioned youngsters to regulate their eating habits and improve fitness in order to prevent the health condition, which has risen 20% among the youth.
The experts also said that due to the unorganised medical health system in India, youth were becoming victims of hypertension and other major health complications triggered by it including brain haemorrhage.
"One in four individuals above 25 years in India has hypertension and it is increasing at an alarming pace. Reducing salt intake, stopping tobacco use, reducing stress by slowing down, yoga or meditation and increasing physical activity are some of the key strategies to reduce blood pressure," said A. Muruganathan, president, Hypertension Society of India.
Emphasising that one should always get checked up for the condition early, he said that ignorance can lead to a stage where hypertension cannot be reversed.
"Reversing it may be more difficult if not impossible. Get your blood pressure checked every year as hypertension often has no symptoms and delayed diagnosis can cause harm to some key organs like kidney, eye, brain, heart etc. If diagnosed with hypertension, take drugs without fail and change your lifestyle," he said.
Currently the world has over 9.4 million people suffering from hypertension and the figure is on constant rise.
S.S. Das, head of critical care and cardiology at Kolkata-based Mercy Hospital, told IANS: "The current scenario is such that youngsters constantly are on working hours and hardly get time to exercise and proper diet. This leads them to get hypertension. Diabetes is found commonly among youths in the 20s and 30s age group. A sedentary lifestyle only exacerbates the situation."
Asked if other countries were also witnessing their youths suffering from hypertension, he said: "The scenario in the world is the same, but as the medical system in Western and South Asian countries such as China is very much organised and focused, they are easily able to tackle the problem."
The experts also said that many of people indulge in self-medication, which leads to other problems including thickening of blood vessels and kidney ailments.
Kenneth Thorpe, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, said: "To efficiently tackle modern lifestyle diseases like hypertension, we need to move from curative to preventive care. Regular health check-ups, reduction of salt, sugar intake, promoting physical activity, early detection and treatment are some of the possible ways to have a preventive approach towards such diseases."
According to him, over 20 crore people are on the verge of stepping into the dangerous zone of hypertension.
He said lifestyle modifications, including salt restriction, diet full of fruits and vegetables are more important in day-to-day life.
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