SRINAGAR: With new guidelines on hypertension, more than 35 lakh people in Kashmir Valley now will have high blood pressure, said Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Sunday.
“That is a huge number of people,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement.
He said anyone with blood pressure higher than130/80 now will be considered to have hypertension or high blood pressure. Previously, people were considered to have high blood pressure when reading was above 140/90
DAK President said this is a big change that will end up labelling many more people with hypertension. “Earlier one in three had hypertension but with new definition more than half of the population will be living with high blood pressure,” he said.
Dr Nisar said the revised guidelines came after a study showed that lowering blood pressure below 120 decreased the risk of heart attacks and strokes by a third and the risk of death fell by a quarter.
“Far too many people don’t know that their blood pressure is high,” he said adding, “We need to make sure that people know their number.”
DAK President said there is a dire need to set up separate hypertension clinics in hospitals that would help in early detection of the disease. “Early detection is the key as it allows people to take action against high blood pressure thus preventing its potential complications,” he said.
Stressing on increased “awareness” among public about the disease, Dr Nisar said that would help people to prevent and control this silent killer. “Because hypertension is an asymptomatic disease, people don’t manage it, they turn up years later with kidneys gone and their eyes are bad,” he said.
“While the new norms significantly increase the number of people with hypertension, most of them would need lifestyle changes rather than medication. Exercise, healthy diet, weight loss and less of salt intake can all be effective. They can help people avoid having to pop pills,” Dr Nisar said.