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Uncontrolled hypertension in the young can raise risk of heart failure, vision loss and cognitive decline: Doctors

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Updated on: 15 May,2024 10:28 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Aakanksha Ahire | aakanksha.ahire@mid-day.com

Ahead of World Hypertension Day, Mid-day.com conversed with health experts who shed light on the worrying rise of young adults in India suffering from high blood pressure, causes and solutions

Uncontrolled hypertension in the young can raise risk of heart failure, vision loss and cognitive decline: Doctors

Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Global data, according to Dr Prashant Nair, consultant, cardiology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, suggest that over five per cent of adolescents have hypertension and 14 per cent have elevated BP levels (prehypertension). 
  
A recent study from India showed a prevalence of over seven per cent for adolescent hypertension. In India, high prevalence of hypertension among young adults (20–44 years) is also found. The prevalence in this age group is more than twice the prevalence in a similar population in the United States. “This is a disturbing trend because it puts an increasing number of young Indians at an increased risk of premature mortality due to cardiovascular causes,” highlights Nair. 
  
Similarly, Dr C. K. Ponde, section head, invasive and non-invasive, consultant, cardiologist, P. D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim, says, “Young adults are at risk of hypertension. This is due to several social and lifestyle-related factors. Many Indian studies have shown that the prevalence of hypertension in the young group – between the age group of 20-45, has significantly increased over the past 10 years. Today, one in four young adults living in urban areas have hypertension and sadly only half of them are aware that they suffer from it. Out of which, only half take proper treatment.” 
  
Ahead of World Hypertension Day, observed annually on May 17 to raise awareness and promote the prevention, detection, and control of hypertension, Mid-day.com conversed with health experts who shed light on the increasing number of young adults having hypertension and tips to keep it under check for living an overall healthy life. 
  
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a medical condition that is characterised by elevated pressure in the arteries. Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries as it circulates through the body. Dr. V.K.G. Rajasekar, chief director, cardiology, Artemis Cardiac Care and GEM Artemis Heart Centre, Chennai, states, “When the pressure remains consistently high over time, it can cause various health complications, like heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and vision problems.” 
  
Normal and elevated blood pressure
“Normally any blood pressure above 130/85 is considered high. As per new guidelines, any blood pressure above 120/80 is considered high/normal,” says Ponde. 
  
Rajasekar elucidates, “Blood pressure measurements basically consist of two numbers: systolic and diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure represents the force of blood against the artery walls when the heart beats, while the diastolic pressure is the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.” 
  
The basic blood pressure chart is as follows:
1. Normal: 
   - Systolic: Less than 120 mmHg
   - Diastolic: Less than 80 mmHg

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