CHANDIGARH: India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI), an initiative led by the Indian Council of Research (ICMR), has pointed out that while Punjab has seen improvement in controlling prevalence of high blood pressure, it continues to have one of the poorest control rates combined with one of the highest prevalence in the country.
The study is based on patients who visited IHCI sites in 4 states and were observed for 6 months. Overall, 64 percent of patients had various stages of uncontrolled hypertension when they registered. In Punjab 89 per cent of patients who registered at selected IHCI sites had raised blood pressure and only 30% of them had been previously diagnosed.
The study found that treatment adherence is currently one of the biggest problem areas in arresting the hypertension epidemic. Nearly half of the patients registered in the IHCI sentinel sites did not return for a scheduled follow-up visit. Follow up visits were one of the lowest in Punjab, and in the patient population that did adhere to treatment, BP control was only about 54.7%.
Highlighting the alarming prevalence of hypertension in the state of Punjab, Dr Sonu Goel, Professor, Dept. of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER said, “In the state of Punjab more than 35.7% of the population has high blood pressure, which is much higher than the national average of 25.3%. Most people are unaware of their blood pressure levels, particularly the younger population.”
To scale the interventions and gradually integrate into the national program, Phase 2 of the project was launched in July 2019. “This is the right step forward”, says Ashim Sanyal, COO of Consumer VOICE NGO.