The hypertension prevalence has been increasing gradually in the country, causing death for a good number of people every year.
The number of the people suffering from the disease has crossed a four-crore mark in the country, official data said.
“Checking blood pressure is the best way to know if you have high blood pressure. If hypertension isn’t treated, it may cause health hazards like kidney and heart diseases or stroke,” it added.
“The hypertension prevalence has been increasing in our country. It was 21 per cent in 2018. Now, it has risen to 24.6 per cent. Over four crore people are now suffering from hypertension,” Prof Dr Robed Amin, line director (NCDC) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Daily Sun.
Mentioning that 50 per cent hypertension patients of the country doesn’t know whether they are suffering from the disease at all, he said only 50 percent of the patients take drug and of them the hypertension is under control among 40 percent of the patients.
“The hypertension is a major cause of NCDs (non-communicable diseases) in Bangladesh while a number of people are facing premature death from the NCD here. Lifestyle changes like healthy food habits and exercise can prevent hypertension,” Robed Amin said.
The DGHS official said excessive salt intake, unhealthy foods, tobacco consumption, physical inactivity and mental stress are the main risk factors for hypertension in the country.
According to an STEPS Bangladesh 2018 report, among people aged 18 years and older, 21 per cent (24.1 per cent females and 17.9 per cent females) people were found with hypertension.
Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2017-18 about 45 per cent of the women and 34 per cent of the men aged 35 years and older are suffering from hypertension in Bangladesh in 2017-18 tenure while 32 percent women and 20 percent men of the same age group were suffering from the disease in 2011.
The report further said the number of hypertension patients was 3 crore in Bangladesh in 2020 and it will rise to 3.8 crore in 2030.
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 said hypertension is among the main three reasons for death and physical disability in Bangladesh.
A study conducted by the Save the Children said nearly 23 per cent urban population of four city corporations - Narayanganj, Cumilla, Mymensingh and Rangpur - are suffering from hypertension.
According to the WHO, over five lakh people die of non-communicable disease (NCDs) in Bangladesh every year while over 50 per cent of the deaths caused by hypertension.
The Bangladesh government has adopted a multi-sectoral action plan 2018-25 to prevent and control non-communicable diseases. In the plan, the government has fixed a target to reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure by 25 per cent.
As part of the initiative to control and prevent the prevalence of hypertension, the NCD control programme of DGHS has set up NCD corner in 299 upazila level and hypertension screening facility in community clinics in different districts in the country.
“We will set up the NCD corner in all 492 upazilas soon. The NCD corner will also be set up in all public hospitals, medical colleges and upazila health complexes,” Robed Amin told the Daily Sun.
Prof Dr Afzalur Rahman, former director of National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), said building awareness among people about hypertension disease and way of prevention can prevent the disease and check huge premature death in the country.
“Hypertension is a lifelong disease. The hypertension can cause of kidney damage, eye damage, cardiovascular disease and also stroke. There is no way to keep hypertension under control to prevent premature death. The government should ensure identify hypertension patients in the grass roots,” he added.
The WHO said an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30–79 years worldwide have hypertension, most (two-thirds) living in low- and middle-income countries.
It said one of the global targets for non-communicable diseases is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 33 percent between 2010 and 2030.
Prof Dr Sohel Reza Choudhury of National Heart Foundation Hospital said, “The government has to take some policies like increasing physical activity facilities, to ensure healthy rate of salt and sugar in foods, and to make people aware of the problem for reducing the number of hypertension patients.”