200 Million Indians Have High Blood Pressure: Study

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200 Million Indians Have High Blood Pressure: Study
200 Million Indians Have High Blood Pressure: Study
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

India is home to about 200 million adults with high blood pressure, according to the largest study of its kind which found that the number of people in the world with high BP has reached 1.13 billion.

The study, led by scientists at Imperial College London, shows that the number of people with high blood pressure across the world has nearly doubled in 40 years.

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Over half of the world's adults with high blood pressure in 2015 lived in Asia. Around 226 million people in China have high blood pressure, along with 200 million in India, the study published in The Lancet journal found.

Researchers studied changes in blood pressure in every country in the world between 1975 and 2015.

They also found that men had higher blood pressure than women in most countries in the world in 2015.

Globally, 597 million men had raised blood pressure, compared to 529 million women.

The study incorporated blood pressure measurements from nearly 20 million people, showing that while blood pressure has dropped sharply in high-income countries, it has risen in many low and middle-income countries, especially those in Africa and South Asia.

The country with the highest age-corrected proportion of men with high blood pressure in 2015 was Croatia (38 per cent of the population), while Niger had the highest proportion of women with high blood pressure (36 per cent).

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While the UK had the lowest proportion of people with high blood pressure in Europe in 2015, South Korea, US and Canada were lowest in the world.

"High blood pressure is no longer related to affluence – as it was in 1975 – but is now a major health issue linked with poverty," said Majid Ezzati, professor at Imperial.

Researchers said the reason for this finding is unclear, but it may be linked to overall better health and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.

The condition is also caught more frequently and earlier, and managed with medication in high-income countries. These factors may have helped counteract rising obesity, which is a risk factor for high blood pressure.

"Increasing evidence suggests poor nutrition in early life years increases risk of the high blood pressure in later life, which may explain the growing problem in poor countries," Ezzati said. (Reopens FGN 10)

The study showed that much of the rise in the number of people with high blood pressure over the last 40 years is also due to a larger and older world population.

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High blood pressure puts extra strain on the blood vessels and major organs such as heart, brain and kidneys.

It is the world's leading cause of cardiovascular disease, which leads to stroke and heart attacks, and is thought to cause 7.5 million deaths a year across the globe.

Blood pressure is defined by two numbers: systolic pressure, which represents the force with which your heart pumps blood into the blood vessels, and diastolic pressure, which is a measure of the resistance to the blood flow in the body's blood vessels.

The team explained the condition is caused by a number of factors including dietary influences, such as eating too much salt and not enough fruit and vegetables, obesity, insufficient exercise and environmental factors.

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