High incidence of hypertension (high blood pressure) in persons above 30 years was recorded at health camps conducted in Angamaly recently. The camps were organised by a group of public and private sector doctors under the Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases in Rural Areas (ENDIRA) project. The ongoing project with the support of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which has conducted 18 camps, aims to hold 24 such camps.

Cardiologist Jaideep C. Menon, lead investigator in the project, told The Hindu that many people were found to be in the pre-hypertensive category too. A small digression upwards from the normal blood pressure reading of 120/80 is called pre-hypertensive bracket. However, only a few sought medical aid, while the rest were unaware about their health status. An annual medical check-up would go a long way in preventing major health problems, he said.

A questionnaire survey involving one lakh people conducted by the ENDIRA project found that only 9.13 per cent were aware that they had hypertension. In the above 30 years category, only 16.4 per cent knew that they were hypertensive.

The prevalence of hypertension among the State’s population was found to be 38.9 per cent in the preliminary analysis of data collected by the Kerala chapter of Cardiological Society of India (CSI). A detailed analysis of the study by Christian Medical College, Vellore, is awaited. Cardiologist P.P. Mohanan, who led the study said the prevalence of hypertension was 41.5 per cent in men and 37.4 per cent in women.

Programmes to spread awareness on hypertension were held in the city on Sunday, as part of World Health Day observances. Indian Medical Association, Kochi branch, in association with NRHM, held a blood pressure testing camp for morning walkers at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium from 6 a.m. to 8.15 a.m.

A class held at IMA House was inaugurated by Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas and Mayor Tony Chammany.

More In: Kochi