A very concerning report

Uncontrolled Blood Pressure in Rural Jammu and Kashmir
"On evaluation and questioning 16% of them were taking only one drug and 53% of them were not taking any drug." [Representational Image]
"On evaluation and questioning 16% of them were taking only one drug and 53% of them were not taking any drug." [Representational Image] Wikimedia Commons/ rawpixel.com

Gauri Kaul Foundation which has a mission of optimising the treatment of high blood pressure (BP), diabetes and existing heart disease in order to minimise heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease carried out a study in 6 districts of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir to evaluate what is happening on the ground in various places including some remote areas regarding high BP control.

The study has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Indian Heart Journal. 

In this scientific study carried out on 600 patients being treated for high BP in Government health centres in Jammu and Kashmir from six different rural districts, Machil in Kupwara, Khan Sahab in Budgam, Rajpora in Pulwama, Mir Bahri, Rainawari in Srinagar, Banihal in Ramban and Jagti township in Jammu. The female, male ratio was equal.

All the patients had been prescribed medicines to control the high BP by doctors working in the health centres.

Two or more drugs had been prescribed in nearly one third of them (30.8%). On evaluation and questioning 16% of them were taking only one drug and 53% of them were not taking any drug.

211 of these 600 patients had uncontrolled BP when checked using a calibrated state of art BP instrument taking an average of 3 readings. Half of these patients (49%) were in the age range of 40 to 60 years and 40% were more than 60 years of age.

When a comparison was made of this patient population with hypertension with those who did not have high BP, it was found that the tobacco, consumption of noon-chay (salted tea), presence of diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides were found to be  significant factors for the presence of uncontrolled hypertension. Besides this poor compliance with the consumption of prescribed drugs by the physicians.

It needs to be realised that uncontrolled hypertension is associated with high occurrence of strokes, high levels of serum creatinine leading to chronic kidney disease culminating in long term dialysis and renal transplants, heart attacks, heart failure and sudden deaths.

As responsible citizens the public at large, the health authorities and all those concerned with health care systems need to have BP control strategies on top priority. High BP is present in more than one third of the adult population of the valley and the present report should caution us.

Acknowledgements: Author would like to thank Ms Priyadarshini Arambam, Dr Rishab Khashoo,  Dr Zubair Saleem and the technical staff of Gauri Heart Centre led by Sayima Majeed Ganiei for execution of this study.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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