‘22% didn’t return for treatment after being diagnosed with hypertension’: Reports

The number of people in the state who did not return for treatment, after being diagnosed with hypertension, increased by 32,230 in 2018-19, a recent report revealed.

Hypertension is defined as sustained high blood pressure (BP) (140/90 mmHg) over five weeks or more. According to statistics released by the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), of the 60,05,973 people screened in 2018-19, 2,59,408 were diagnosed with hypertension in 2018-19. While 2,02,614 received treatment, around 22% (56,794) of the patients did not follow up.

In 2017-18, of the 46,95,940 screened, 2,06,936 were diagnosed, with 1,82,373 receiving treatment and 12% (24,564) of the patients not coming back for follow ups.

Despite large-scale screenings and diagnosis programmes organised by the state government, lack of awareness and work-based migration patterns could be keeping the patients away from treatment, said doctors.

Dr Ramakanta Panda, veteran heart surgeon and vice chairman of Asian Heart Institute, said, “Many patients don’t seek active treatment as they do not realise its seriousness until they experience a heart attack, stroke or kidney damage.”

National studies show that prevalence of hypertension among the urban middle class is 32% in men and 30% in women. Factors such as family history, age, gender, diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking, physical inactivity, and stress increase the risk of hypertension.

“Despite being a precursor to many deadly neurological, cardiac and nephrological diseases, the ailment has failed to gain equal attention. Thus, it is often not considered while making policy decisions,” said Dr Sundeep Mishra, professor of cardiology, AIIMS, Delhi. “Proper management of hypertension is the need of the hour. On World Hypertension Day, we need to make people aware,” said Dr Salil Shirodkar, consultant cardiologist at Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital.

First Published:
May 17, 2019 04:19 IST

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