• Experts pitch for special clinics
Nearly 500 people have died due to hypertension and heart related disorders in Jammu and Kashmir in last one year which is almost 92 percent more than those killed in violence and militancy related incidents during the same period.
According to the latest report of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of cases of adolescent or adult deaths above 6 years is 430 with probable cause being heart disease or hypertension. The figure is nearly 92 percent more than those killed due to violence and militancy related activities in J&K in one year.
The report gives month-wise and district-wise details of Hypertensive deaths with June 2015 reporting highest number (50 deaths). October recorded 48 deaths, May 46, April 42, September 37, August 33, July 32, March 32, February 31 and January 30.
In November and December 2014, 14 and 35 patients died of hypertension respectively.
As per the report, nearly 13000 pregnant ladies were treated with IV Antihypertensive/Magsulph injection which indicates increase in hypertension cases.
The figures have been corroborated by the study done by State Health Department which finds that rates of hypertension have increased in the region due to lifestyle changes including high fat intake and salt diets and low physical activity.
Prevalence of new cases of hypertension was 17.5 percent which significantly increased with age and was high amongst males and those residing in urban areas.
Prevalence rate has doubled in the state in the last decade. In 1997 prevalence of hypertension in adult population was observed to be 8.31 percent and it was higher in females (10.8%) in comparison to males (6.34%), which was statistically significant (p<0.05).
Hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in the vessels. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels.
Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump.
Recently, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) raised alarm over high prevalence of hypertension in Kashmir and pitched for separate hypertension clinics in hospitals.
President DAK, Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said that setting up of separate hypertension clinics will help in prevention and control of hypertension.
“These comprehensive hypertension clinics can provide increased awareness, early detection and adequate treatment which in turn will mitigate the disease burden,” Hassan had said.
“Also in these clinics patients will be allowed to express their health concerns that build trust which will improve adherence to treatment and will bring reduction in their blood pressure,” he added.
According to Nisar, hypertension is a silent killer and a modern epidemic and is the leading cause of death and disability.
“While globally, over one billion people are living with hypertension and it kills 9.4 million people every year, in Kashmir every third person is hypertensive and more than half of elderly population is hypertensive and the problem is growing,” he said.