SRINAGAR: About half of the population in Jammu and Kashmir is hypertensive and most of them are unaware of it, revealed Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Dr Nisar who is also president of Doctors Association of Kashmir told news agency that almost every other person in J&K is hypertensive as per new guidelines.
The normal blood pressure level is considered to be less than 120/80 mmHg which earlier used to be 130/90 mmHg.
According to him, hypertension is one of the common diseases in J&K and there is a need to have separate hypertension clinics at tertiary care hospitals besides district hospitals. He suggested patients with high blood pressure need to relax for a few minutes and it is not possible in general ward or OPD. So, separate hypertension clinics are needed, he added.
Dr Nisar said that it is a myth that everyone suffering from a headache is a hypertension patient. “But truth is that hypertension is invariably a silent disease and population-based screening is vital. There is a need to reach more and more people and screen them so that we can pick up patients early,” he added.
“There is a need for a population based on screening so as to get the exact number of people suffering from hypertension,” Dr Nisar said. He said that people in Kashmir love to consume salt and take 2-3 times more salt and traditional Noon chai adds to the burden.
“There is a need to make people aware about the ill effects of taking more salt,” he added. He suggested lifestyle modification including eating fruits and vegetables and reduction in salt intake in food and eating potassium-rich foods.
Dr Nisar said that hypertension affects almost every organ of the body and leads to heart attack and strokes and the main reason behind it is the shift from homemade too junk foods contacting more salt and fats.
“Paediatric hypertension is a reality and after three years of age every child must be screened and if ignored it may trigger complications in adults,” he said. At least 11 percent women and 10 percent men in Jammu and Kashmir are suffering from hypertension while more than half of the population in the UT are in the pre-hypertensive stage.