As non-communicable diseases come into focus, district level surveys in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla and Rajasthan's Udaipur show high levels of hypertension and diabetes, and low awareness. So far, lifestyle diseases were associated with metropolitan cities. But, the survey brings out shocking figures showing higher ratio of hypertension in these cities than the national average. The assessment, which surveyed a total of over 7,250 individuals, 36 health facilities and 35 healthcare providers in both districts, points to prevalence rates for hypertension and diabetes of 9.5 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, in Shimla, and 10.1 percent and five percent in Udaipur within the population over 15 years of age.
The national averages for hypertension and diabetes are 5.59 percent and 6.19 percent, respectively as determined by the combined opportunistic screening by the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, CVD and Stroke.
larmingly, one in three individuals above the age of 55 years in both districts was found to be hypertensive, while one in six is diabetic.
As many as 52 percent of the 3,430 individuals surveyed in Shimla were not aware of the signs and symptoms of hypertension.
This coupled with higher than expected prevalence of hypertension, a leading risk factor for heart disease, emphasises the need for effective interventions to manage these metabolic risk factors if health outcomes related to heart disease are to be improved.
Medtronic Philanthropy in partnership with MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child and Public Health Foundation of India conducted the survey.