With 45.2%, J&K has one of the highest prehypertension rate in India

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Srinagar: A new study has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir has one of the highest prehypertension rates at 45.2 percent.

Conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the study has shed light on the concerning prevalence of prehypertension across various regions of India.

Published on March 18, the study has uncovered startling statistics, indicating a significant health challenge that demands immediate attention.

According to the study, which analyzed data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), more than 33 percent of Indians suffer from prehypertension, a condition that often progresses to full-blown hypertension, significantly increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other serious health complications.

The research, which involved 7,43,067 adults aged between 18 and 54 years across 707 districts in 28 Indian states and eight Union territories, revealed a wide variation in prehypertension prevalence rates across the country. Southern regions, including Puducherry, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, exhibited relatively lower average rates, with Puducherry having the lowest at 27.7 percent.

Conversely, the northern region, particularly Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, demonstrated significantly higher prehypertension rates, with Jammu and Kashmir leading at a staggering 45.2 percent and Ladakh at 48.8 percent.

To visually represent these findings, districts were categorized into five groups based on prehypertension prevalence percentages. Notably, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh reported the lowest rate at 15.6%, while Rajouri (63.4%) and Anantnag (55.8%) in Jammu and Kashmir had the highest rates. Bihar and Karnataka had the lowest rates in the top 20 districts, while Rajasthan and  Jammu and Kashmir had the highest rates in the bottom 20 districts.

Furthermore, the study highlighted demographic and lifestyle factors contributing to prehypertension. Individuals aged over 30 years exhibited higher odds of being prehypertensive, with particularly high rates among younger individuals. Moreover, individuals from wealthier households and those overweight or obese were found to have higher odds of prehypertension.

 Conversely, as per the study, females, literate individuals, non-alcohol consumers, and individuals with normal blood glucose levels were less likely to be prehypertensive compared to their counterparts. The study attributed these differences to variances in healthcare-seeking behavior and proactive health consciousness among different demographic groups.

In response to the rising rates of prehypertension, the study emphasized the importance of adopting preventive measures targeting younger populations. “The current health system in India primarily focuses on older adults, neglecting the preventive needs of younger populations. It is crucial to implement interventions in educational institutions and workplaces to promote healthy lifestyles and early detection of risk factors,” the study said.

The study’s findings underscore the urgent need for comprehensive public health initiatives aimed at raising awareness, promoting lifestyle modifications, and facilitating early detection and management of prehypertension. Failure to address this growing health crisis could lead to a significant rise in cardiovascular diseases and impose a substantial burden on India’s healthcare system.