Hypertension patients maximum among South Asians

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) South Asians number the highest among patients suffering from hypertension, doctors said on Tuesday. Hypertension leads to conditions like brain stroke and heart attacks, among others, and regular medication and check-up is needed to control it.

According to the doctors, the factors triggering hypertension among the South Asians include stress and the poor habits of taking ‘gutka’, ‘kimam’, ‘paan’ or ‘naswar’.

“Studies show that stroke-related deaths are higher among the South Asian people than the White people, all because of hypertension. We South Asians develop high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol much more easily in comparison to the people of West,” said Vipul Gupta, head of Neurovascular Intervention Centre at Medanta.

Noting that hypertension is the prime reason behind heart and brain strokes, Gupta said because of ignorance the condition reaches a stage when blood vessels are strained, including the ones leading to the heart, making it much tougher to circulate blood in the body.

“This strain can damage the blood vessels, causing them to become harder and narrower, a condition called atherosclerosis. This makes a blockage more likely, which can cause a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA, sometimes called a mini stroke),” said Satnam Singh Chhabra, Head Neuro and Spine Surgeon, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

According to these experts, the relationship between blood pressure (hypertension) and risk of stroke is strong. The higher is the blood pressure, the greater is the risk of stroke.

Currently, over 16 lakh Indians suffer from stroke annually.

Suggesting regular check-ups as the best way to diagnose hypertension, Chhabra said: “The good news is that many clinical trials have documented that drug treatment of hypertension prevents stroke and that anti-hypertensive drug treatment reduced the risk of strokes by 32 percent compared to no drug treatment”.

“Medication and other lifestyle changes are required to control high blood pressure. Patients should understand that they should be very regular in taking medications, getting the blood pressure checked and visiting doctors to reduce the chances of organ damage due to hypertension,” Chhabra said.

–IANS

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