Saturday, 30 September, 2023

Awareness can reduce hypertension prevalence

Awareness can reduce hypertension prevalence

Popular News

It is alarming that hypertension prevalence in the country has been rising sharply. The number of people suffering from this fatal non-communicable disease (NCD) has already crossed a 40 million mark. It has also risen in percentage point – from 21 per cent in 2018 to about 25 per cent now. The number of premature deaths from this silent killer disease by now is over half a million per year. Another dimension of the alarm is that rate of hypertension has not only increased in urban centres but also in rural areas where prevalence of different diseases was usually lower than in big cities. Hypertension that leads to damages of kidneys and eyes, cardiovascular diseases or stroke is one of the main three reasons for death and physical disability in Bangladesh. Over 50 per cent of deaths from non-communicable disease are caused by high blood pressure. Another point to be noted with all seriousness is that two-thirds of the global high blood pressure patients live in low and medium income countries like Bangladesh.

Experts in health sciences have identified the main risk factors behind the rise of hypertension. For lack of awareness people take excessive salt and unhealthy foods, consume tobacco and do not take part in physical activities. Mental stress is another powerful factor behind the rise of hypertension. Since the causes of the rising trend of the disease are known and prevention is also well within our knowledge, prevalence of the disease may be brought down and premature deaths checked, provided that people lead a healthy lifestyle, consult doctors and take medicines.

Against this gloomy background, the ray of hope is that the global target for non-communicable disease is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 33 per cent within the current decade. In line with the global objective, our government has adopted an action plan to prevent and control NCDs with the objective of reducing high blood pressure by 25 per cent. As part of the same, the government is going to set up NCD corners in all public hospitals, medical colleges and upazila health outlets. We hope that government initiative and people’s awareness put together will help reduce the prevalence of the silent killer to a considerable extent.