Hypertension on rise in adolescents: Experts : The Tribune India

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Hypertension on rise in adolescents: Experts

Hypertension on rise in adolescents: Experts

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24

Health experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, said in India, around 22 crore adults have high blood pressure (BP) and an increasing trend of hypertension is being seen among the young population.

“Close to 20 per cent of children and adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years have been suffering from hypertension. It is more than what is normal at their age. The common risk factor in a non-communicable disease is hypertension. There are several complications due to high BP such as stroke, myocardial infarction, kidney issues and retinal problems,” said Dr Sumit Malhotra, professor, Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS. He said in most cases, people are not aware of their BP status. Malhotra emphasised the need for accurately measuring BP and its early treatment.

Dr Kiran Goswami, professor, Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS, said hypertension is a major modifiable risk factor and accounts for most premature deaths in the country, especially in the younger population.

“If a person can control systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 millimetres of mercury, he or she can bring down about 20 per cent early risk of death. Stroke risks can be reduced by one-third,” she said.

The experts said besides genetic risks, early-age tobacco intake, excess weight, physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle are major risk factors for high BP.

“Stress is also a major risk factor. Educational institutions should teach youngsters how to cope with stress,” Malhotra said.

The experts called for a healthy lifestyle, eating more fruits and vegetables and 30-minute aerobic exercises like brisk walking and cycling.

“The prescribed salt intake is 5 gm, but in India, the intake of salt in several households is 10 gm. Salt in any form increases the blood pressure,” he added.

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