Once upon a time, the communicable diseases triggered massive headaches among the scientists and medical practitioners. As the time progressed, the population of the world is gradually becoming a victim of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Among the NCDs, hypertension or high blood pressure is regarded one of the heavyweights among others and is regarded one of the most feared customers because of its nature of inviting adverse outcomes.
Hypertension is one of the major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the world, which significantly contributes to the burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), stroke, kidney failure, disability and premature death. It is also identified as a global disease burden and is ranked third as a cause of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 17 million deaths occur worldwide due to CVDs, of which hypertension alone accounts for 9.4 million deaths, and 80 % of the CVD-related deaths occurred in the developing countries. The global prevalence of hypertension is projected to increase from 26 % in 2000 to 29.2 % by 2025, which will be approximately 29 % of the world’s population.
Although hypertension is more prevalent in developed countries like USA, its prevalence is increasing in the low and middle-income countries. Countries in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, are having an increasing burden of hypertension including CVDs. According to the WHO, hypertension has become a significant health concern in the Asian region, affecting more than 35 % of the adult population. The two fast-growing economies, India, and China, have a huge burden of hypertension and are projected to proliferate by 2025.
In Bangladesh, the concern for the communicable disease have always been taken more seriously rather than the NCDs. But day by day, this developing country in the South Asian region is becoming a victim of high blood pressure.
In recent years, rapid urbanization, increased life expectancy, unhealthy diet, and lifestyle changes have led to an increase in the rate of CVD including hypertension in Bangladesh. According to the National Guideline for Hypertension, about 11-18% of adults (mostly the middle-aged adults) and 40 to 65% of elderly populations suffer from hypertension.
According to The National Center for Biotechnology and Information, the prevalence of hypertension was first reported as 1.10 % in 1976 in Bangladesh. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of hypertension in the country among 6,430 adults for the period 1995 to 2009 was estimated to be 13.5 %. Moreover, there was a wide range of variation in the prevalence of hypertension reported by several studies ranging from 11 to 44 %.
Due to the lack of representative data, these studies were small-scale, confined to urban – rural communities or some other specific groups (e.g. slum residents), which cannot provide sufficient information for Bangladesh at large. Also, a substantial proportion of the population with hypertension remains undiagnosed and not treated properly due to lack of access to health care and high treatment costs.
Even though, many still regards hypertension to be a disease of the elderly groups, but now a days, the age groups above 25 years are also being affected by hypertension. In India, one in 4 individuals aged above 25 years has hypertension and it is increasing at an alarming rate.
The study about the prevalence of hypertension among the young adults are not satisfactory as because, about 32.9% or even more percentage of this age group doesn’t measure their blood pressures. Keeping in mind the changes in lifestyle and food habit among the young adults in Bangladesh, the possibilities of hypertensive cases can’t be ruled out among this age group.
They should be careful enough as because the majority of the young adults in Bangladesh can develop a high blood pressure because of the following reasons:
1. Sedentary lifestyle.
2. Lack of interest in doing exercises, walking and running.
3. More habituated to eating junk foods and drinking soft drinks.
4. Smoking and alcohol intake.
5. The habit of taking unnecessary stresses.
6. Lack of proper sleep.
7. In Bangladesh, adulteration of food products, fruits and vegetables must have taken the top spot by now.
If the young and adult age group of Bangladesh becomes hypertensive at such an early stage of their life, then how can this country progress? In that sense, these age groups should be very cautious about their health and check their blood pressure at least once in a six month and it should be done by a registered physician.
Above all, you can prevent secondary hypertension, which is not dependent on genetic factors, by modifying your lifestyle:
1. Shun sedentary lifestyle and build the habit of regular exercises, walking and running either outside or on a treadmill so that you don’t gain extra weight.
2. Eat healthy foods such as vegetables, fish, fruits and meat according to the need of your body.
3. Avoid junk foods and soft drinks.
4. Avoid smoking and alcohol intake.
5. Reduce salt intake.
6. Avoid taking unnecessary stresses.
7. Build the habit of taking a sufficient amount of sleep.
8. Women should avoid taking Oral Contraceptive pills as much as possible.
9. Build the habit of undergoing a thorough health check up at least once in a year to keep updated about your health.
On this World Hypertension Day, please, do check your blood pressure via a registered physician, shun all the bad habits, eat healthy foods and lead a healthy life.
Stay healthy, stay safe.