BP, which has no symptoms, is a leading cause for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure, say experts

While diabetes as an ailment has received widespread acceptance among doctors and public for being a risk factor for heart ailments, the role of hypertension in causing cardiovascular diseases is seldom acknowledged, experts point out. What’s even more disconcerting is the fact that unlike diabetes, blood pressure is a silent killer and does not have symptoms due to which, persons do not realise that they are hypertensive and need medication.

“There is a large population in India that does not know that they have blood pressure because of no symptoms. In urban India, one out of every three adults and in rural regions, one out of every four persons has blood pressure. The condition is becoming a principal factor for Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVD), brain strokes and kidney ailments,” says blood pressure expert and Padma Shri recipient, Dr. Venkat S. Ram.

The only silver lining is the fact that blood pressure can be diagnosed and managed easily. “Atleast once every year, adults should make it a point to undergo testing for blood pressure. Blood pressure is a signal that indicates that there are chances of developing diseases. Hence, early detection of hypertension can help in preventing heart attacks,” Dr. Ram said.

While interacting with press persons on Sunday, hypertension experts also pointed said that the rural and urban divide, with respect to prevalence of hypertension is concerned, is diminishing.

“I feel that the acceptance of urban lifestyle by villagers and urbanisation of villages is causing this trend,” Dr. Ram said.

There is also a trend of growing number of hypertension cases among children between 14 and 15 year-olds. “In our clinics, we see a jump in children with blood pressure.

“This trend is usually associated with the kind of food consumed by our children,” says another senior blood pressure expert, Dr. Mohamed Raffey. They maintained that obesity is intrinsically linked to hypertension among children. “Three surveys taken up in Kolkata, Calicut and Surat recently point towards obesity being a big reason for escalating cases of diabetes and blood pressure. Food is the main reason for such increase in numbers,” he added.

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