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Youth's high blood pressure signals growing crisis

As the world emerges of Covid-19 pandemic, another silent epidemic takes hold, particularly among India's youth: high blood pressure, or hypertension. Previously associated with the elderly, hypertension now affects younger populations, prompting concerns about lifestyle, health education, and the looming public health crisis if unaddressed.



THE HIGH BP ISSUE


In its inaugural report, the World Health Organization (WHO) outlined the dire consequences of high blood pressure, linking it to stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, and other health issues.

Hypertension accounts for over 10.8% of all deaths in India, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Dr. L.K. Jha, Associate Director & Head of Cardiology at Asian Hospital, emphasized that hypertension is no longer limited to the middle-aged; it's affecting young Indians as early as their 30s.



"Lifestyle changes, driven by work stress, poor eating habits, and inadequate sleep, are jeopardizing the health of the nation's youth," Dr. Jha told IndiaToday.in. In the Great India BP Survey (2018), Dr. Kartik Gupta, a physician at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, highlighted, "India’s screening typically starts at 30, which is too late. We must screen and promote healthy lifestyles early to avert the impending crisis."


Grasping the Culprits


Dr. Manjinder Sandhu, Principal Director of Cardiology at Max Healthcare, highlighted lifestyle factors contributing to hypertension among young Indians. He told India Today. In, "Early onset hypertension, fueled by smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol, signals future health risks. Inactivity, poor diet leading to obesity, and genetic predisposition are key culprits. Diabetes doubles the risk, often followed by hypertension."


Addressing the Current Challenges


Dr. Sandhu emphasized that the concerning aspect isn't just the high prevalence of hypertension but the lack of awareness surrounding it. He proposed a holistic lifestyle overhaul to counter this trend. "Begin with a balanced, low-sodium diet and moderate alcohol intake. Stay physically active and manage stress through practices like yoga or meditation," advised Dr. Sandhu.


Routine check-ups, along with efforts to quit smoking and manage stress, are vital in combating hypertension. "Hypertension silently damages organs, making timely treatment imperative," added Dr. Jha. The escalating hypertension rates among young Indians demand immediate attention and collective action. It's not solely a personal health issue but a potential national crisis necessitating a cultural shift towards healthier lifestyles.


Sources -Times Today




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